Orbital - Wonky

Doesn't match former glories
Orbital - Wonky
Here’s every true fan’s worst hyphenated word: ‘come-back’. And Orbital are attempting a badly advised one. The brothers Hartnoll had put in a fine shift since 1990’s cerebral ‘Chime’ infected our bones before they vanished into the slipstream of their fitting swan song of 2004’s ‘Blue’ LP.

But old hands die hard and their addiction to smashing headline slots at festivals simply proved too much. They have returned with ‘Wonky’. But (and as a huge fan this sentence pains me) it’s not improved on any of their previous work. They are merely chasing the shadows cast from their own trademarked head torches.

The track ‘Distractions’ hints at ‘In Sides’ era psych-slitherings, but without the clarity or detail, ‘New France’ sees Zola Jesus guest but comes over a tad too Belinda Carlisle (and the brothers already have a great set closer in this namesake). ‘Beelzedub’ goes route-one jockstep and merely looks to emulate the dubstep marmite of Shrillex rather than pursue more progressive sonics in this field.

Title track ‘Wonky’ is way better and hears Birmingham’s motormouth MC Lady Leshurr show how far behind the other eight tepid imposters are. Neither enough time has elapsed since their retirement for Orbital to induce relief nor is their construction of modern bangers enough to keep up with Benga. Orbital, we found you drenched in splendor way up in the sky - but we need you to stay there.

6/10

Words by Miles Taylor

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