Sunday 22 November 2015

Big Red Panda - Grand Orbiter (Album Review)

Release date: November 5th 2015. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Grand Orbiter – Tracklisting

1.Departure 01:40
2.Milestone 06:31
3.High Ride 04:55
4.Sunrise Station 02:03
5.Barefoot 07:42
6.Grand Orbiter 05:26
7.Arrival Pt. I 01:54

Band Members:

Fancisco Dantas - Drums
Gonçalo Palmas - Synth
Hugo Quintela - Guitar
Kevin Pires - Guitar
Nuno Silva - Bass
Pedro Ferreira - Vocals/Guitar


Big Red Panda are a Psychedelic/Progressive/Stoner/Space Rock Band from Portugal who released a stunning S/T debut album back in 2014. 18 months later the guys return to take you on another spiritual and cosmic journey with Grand Orbiter.

Grand Orbiter offers 30 minutes of dreamlike trance induced Stoner sounds where the band taking influence from Pink Floyd but still maintaining their own sound. Opening track – Departure – is a superb instrumental piece with the band creating a psychedelic ride into the Stoner Rock cosmos. That vibe is carried straight into the epic 2nd song – Milestone.

Milestone sees the band venture further into the realm of Progressive Rock with trippy spaced-out riffs. The synths have a certain 80s movie soundtrack feel to them as the band expand your mind without the need for hallucinogenic drugs or toxins.

The rest of the album follows the same template as Milestone as Big Red Panda prove they aren't your typical Stoner Rock band. The vocals don't appear until the 5th track – Barefoot – just when I was beginning to wonder if they would ever appear at all. Not that I wasn't enjoying myself far from it. Grand Orbiter would still be a fantastic album if it had vocals or not. Pedro's vocals are highly influenced from 60s/70s Psychedelic Rock bands.

The production is handled superbly well and Big Red Panda have tons of great ideas here. It's a shame the album didn't have a few more songs as it suddenly ends and I wanted it continue for at least 10 mins or so. Other than that Grand Orbiter is an excellent release from a band you need to check out now.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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