At the end of everything, there stands oblivion. We come into this life aware that it will one day end—that, like all matter that has come before and after us, we too will one day leave the way we came in. Bittersweet as it may be to not know what’s waiting for us, if anything, on the other end is a truth that the Suborbitals have learned to embrace with a warm greeting on their new album. Aptly titled Hey Oblivion, it’s a comfortingly bittersweet affair that greets death as it is—a natural part of life—as something sad, but not without its beauty. The band detailed in a Monterey County Weekly piece that the album also takes on the concept of failure and its inevitability, citing it as perhaps even “holier than success.”
Where Hey Oblivion’s concept is the bread, its music sure is the butter. You don’t necessarily have to go about things dead-on artfully to craftily philosophize, but magic tends to be made when these elements go hand-in-hand. Resultantly, the Suborbitals have developed something nothing short of beauteous and captivating. It’s perhaps best described as alternative rock, but there is so much sensory wonder to take in here that fitting it into any box would be a disservice.
Most redolently, tones of jazz and punk wash over the scene, bringing a winning combination of precision, wit, and heart to proceedings. Little have contemporary bands evoked something similar to the orchestral mysticism of outlets like Jethro Tull, but the Suborbitals manage to make it work with this exemplary showcase of musical smarts and heartfelt sentiment. More than anything, Hey Oblivion is an album with a resonant concept that can relate itself to any listener, and that extends to its ravishing showcase of sheer musicality. There’s something for everyone in this brilliantly varied, simultaneously cohesive as elements of jazz and gypsy swing meet revolution in the form of folk and punk.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)