The ex-members of Seattle band Hammerbox are enjoying quite a resurgence lately. First there’s ex-frontwoman Carrie Akre releasing a solo record last year, and now along comes ex-guitarist Harris Thurmond with a record as one-half of the duo Orbiter. Mini LP — an appropriately named six-song release — strays far away from the crunchy guitar sounds of Hammerbox and into a mellow, funky concoction that’s not quite trip-hop, not quite lounge, not quite pop, and not quite soul.
The album kicks off with an instrumental slow groove called “3 A.M.” (which is reprised at the end) before venturing into vocal selections that alternate between Thurmond and his female cohort, Fiia McGann. I preferred Thurmond’s vocals, especially on “You” (the best song on the EP), in which he sings great lines such as “I wish I could sing, like Curtis Mayfield does.”
Garbage references, Elysian Fields references, and Nick Drake references are all somewhat accurate, although Orbiter is still rather spotty on this release for full comparisons. The songs “Sentimental” and “Bribery” bring down the record somewhat, although the remaining songs work rather well. Should Orbiter can McGann’s vocals and stick mostly with Thurmond’s, the electro-groove of Orbiter could prove to be an enjoyable musical addition.