Review: Dallas Orbiter – Motorcycle Diagrams

The Minneapolis-based Dallas Orbiter are another group to have successfully fused space and psychedelic rock with pop music. Now on to their third album, this record of full of fascinating ideas and an abundance of tunes. In fac, the only problem the listeners may have is not having their mind fried by such a vast array of sounds and styles.

Dallas Orbiter CD Cover

Bonkers fairground keyboards provide the backdrop for ‘Ampbuzz Is For Lovers’. It’s one of the less coherent songs but despite that it’s decidedly off-key melody is still a winning one. ‘The Dawn & Jitters’ uses verses that build up like a creepy fairy tale before a dreamlike chorus takes hold. ‘Stabbed By Grace’ starts off elegantly and wistfully like a long-lost effort by The Sea And Cake but by the end it sounds more like a power ballad. It’s probably a compliment to their diversity that the only song which does sound like The Flaming Lips, ‘The Damocles File’, is the most commercially viable moment on ‘Motorcycle Diagrams’. Elsewhere there’s post-punk guitars (‘Maybe Soon The Lakeflies’), girlie harmonies (‘Brow Of Zeus’), Krautrock instrumentals (‘Bzzjh’) and AOR (‘Hallelujah, The Jetpack Dandies’). Given their wilfully subversive songwriting, Dallas Orbiter will doubtless remain a cult concern but this is still wonderfully creative music that deserves wider audiences.

Web Sites:
Dallas Orbiter Official Site
Dallas Orbiter MySpace

Further Listening:
The Umbrella Sequence


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