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All bands have a story, whether you know it or not. Some bands share their stories freely, others like to remain mysterious. The Suborbitals story is no secret, and it began in 2002. The story is an interesting one, but to make a long story short—the band came together when Ryan Masters and Gordon Stokes came together and started jamming. Masters, a poet, and Stokes, a drummer, added bass player Heath Proskin to the mix, as well as Bill Minor on keys and Ben Herod on sax, flute, and percussion. This created something interesting.
The band released their first album in 2006. Now, in 2018, they have a new album. Hey Oblivion is readily available online and can be purchased through Bandcamp, among other online music outlets.
Hey Oblivion is 13 tracks of dark and mysterious music laced with such an amazing blend of instruments that it’s hard not to get swept away by the music. You can hear influences in the songs, but you can’t really directly compare this band to anyone else—they are truly unique.
The album opens up with ‘Bone Tea.’ This song sounds like the Beatles hung out with Pink Floyd, and tossed in some sax just to add something new. I enjoyed the melancholy tone of this track.
"Let’s Forget it for Awhile" starts out feeling like a more upbeat song, but it’s not really fun and happy. If you listen to the lyrics you’ll understand that it’s a sad and depressing song—even though the beat almost makes you want to dance.
As I am listening to this album I am amazed at how talented each member of the band is. No one instrument stands out above the others—they are all well-played. I truly enjoyed the vocals, but without such talented musicians backing up the lead singer this album couldn’t possibly be as great as it is.
The album’s title track, "Hey Oblivion," is another song that gave me a Beatles-feel (just in the beginning though)… It’s an energetic song, though still full of that melancholy touch that The Suborbitals seem to have a knack for. This track has such a vintage tone to it that it definitely falls into my top five favorites in this collection. As the song progresses, the vocals continue in strength.
I love the sounds of the sax and the other instruments, and I feel like the band does well giving the sax its space in songs. It begins many of the tracks—and starts them off on a great note. My absolute favorite track on the album begins this way. That track is “Crazier.” I can’t really tell you exactly what it is I love about this song—it’s a culmination of the instruments and the lyrics. It’s especially something to do with the vocals—which I think really stand out on this track. Plus, songs about being crazy are cool in general.
There is so much to love about this album, and as we wind closer to the end of the year I feel I’ve found yet another favorite album of 2018. With the talent and ingenuity of this band, I am not sure anyone can top them in the next few months. Their music is clever and creative—while you might hear stuff that sounds like it might be influenced by other bands, it’s short-lived in each song as they go on to turn into something you couldn’t even have imagined at the first note.
The band has a website, where you can take some time to get to know them better—if you’d like.
If you like this music review, please take a moment to check out some more of my reviews of awesome tunes here on Vocal/Beat. I have new reviews up almost weekly. You’ll find an array of musical genres covered, so you’re bound to find something you like.