It goes without saying that science fiction, and space in general, are common themes running through many a stoner rock band. Sometimes it’s done well, sometimes the approach taken stands out from the hordes of riff-worshiping, cosmic fuzz merchants peddling this particular brand of riffery. Sometimes not. Toronto’s Low Orbit falls into the former category. Having formed in what now feels like a lifetime ago, in 2013, Low Orbit are now veterans of the cosmic riff approach and it shows immediately on Crater Creator, Low Orbit third release, and create craters, this record most certainly does.
Opening with the title track, guitarist/vocalist Angelo Catenaro instantly offers up a crushing, veteran riff, and introduces a voice that reminds me of Melvins Buzz Osborne singing through distortion. The low-end rumbles along well, drummer Emilio Mammone and bassist/synth Joe Grgic find their groove pocket and ride Catenaro’s riff throughout the duration. Crater Creator is an excellent opening track and definitely defines the band’s mission statement, as it were.
Tardis also packs quite the wallop, as does Sea Of See which features more excellent riff work throughout from Caternaro. Sea Of See also features a slightly brisker tempo, coming off a bit ‘catchier’, not necessarily the adjective one uses in describing massive, cosmic stoner/doom of this magnitude. Low Orbit sounds massive, no question, the heaviness is slathered in just enough fuzz and effects to create maximum impact.
Grgic’s hefty, dense bass opens the rumbling Empty Space before Catenaro reaches into his suitcase of riffs, grabbing a few, and laying them across the track. Empty Space takes its time reaching its conclusion, allowing the chance for Catenaro to lay down some nice, spacey lead work as the track fades out.
Who doesn’t need more cowbell? Well, Mammone is all too happy to comply, opening Monocle with a cowbell-stomp before Catenaro and Grgic’s earworm riff comes ripping through the speakers. Catchy and massive, Monocle is a highlight of the record. Wormhole keeps the cosmic journey going, with a riff that feels like one is caught in an actual wormhole, super crunchy, and again, Catenaro is conjuring images of Buzz Osborne both vocally as well with some really Melvins-ish crunch on the main riff.
We come out the other side and reach our zenith with closer Timelord. Again, Grgic’s fuzzed-out bass introduces the song, like opening a sonic portal, before Catenaro & Mammone make their considerable presence felt. Grgic’s bass riff anchors the song as Low Orbit weave their way through the vortex, ending Crater Creator with a definitive exclamation point.
As stated at the beginning of the review, this record is aptly named. It’s massive, heavy, crushing, and the science fiction themes don’t feel exhausted, like some other bands do when attempting this theme. Obviously, Low Orbit know what they’re doing. The dynamic between the three of them is pretty evident. I played this record a ton, and really got a chance to absorb it, I can definitively say that if heavy, fuzzed-out riffs, a rumbling low-end, and sci-fi themes are your preferred cup of stoner rock brew, then Low Orbit‘sCrater Creator is a record not to be missed. Recommended.