Laika’s Orbit introduce themselves with “We are from space!” But one listen to the New England four-piece’s first demo proves they’re down-and-dirty earthlings, full of messy, relatable feelings and ready to express them with three or four well-placed chords. Laika’s Orbit have a timeless setup—two guitars, bass, drums, vocals—and a splashy, messy, aggressive sound, edged into sweetness by exuberant solos and Shane Dupuy’s voice, which is so earnest it might actually crack once or twice. It’s like the Exploding Hearts with less bite, or early Weezer with a little more.
The demo has a classic setup, too. Hooky opener “Just Perfect” sends us tumbling into album standout “Circumstance” (fast and clipped, with Dupuy yelping like a tiger cub). These two songs are followed, and balanced, by a trio of variously paced, reverb-soaked power ballads. Closer “Dead at 22” has a sing-along chorus and a spacey fade-out. You can visualize the band pulling another classic move—quietly setting down their instruments and stalking out of the room before the feedback fades.
This is the kind of record you might find in a box of your dad’s college stuff, all dusty and worn out. This immediate familiarity is the band’s blessing and its curse—the record feels like a lost rock treasure, but there are no moments, lyrics, or decisions that give it its own particular glitter (“I don’t know what it’s like to be me,” Dupuy sings on “Probably Might,” and it comes through a little too well). If Laika’s Orbit can grow up a little and keep that youthful glow, their next album could really be something special—until then, we can happily rock out to this, as though we’ve been doing it forever.