It’s about living life in the fast lane, taking sweet rides in a new whip, and cashing checks. It’s excess, the summer aesthetic, and it’s streaming on a new promo tape from New England-based Laika’s Orbit on sale for $1000. The tape features three original songs and one cover from their upcoming LP, to be released later this summer by Total Negativity Records.
Your cash buys a tight, four-track release that would sound equally at home spilling out of a Corvette convertible or a boombox nestled in the sand. The release opens with “No Matter What It Takes,” two and a half minutes of power pop about a friendship that endures despite romantic disappointment. “I just don’t feel like dancin’/the moon isn’t quite right;” in a moment of power pop mastery, frontman Shane Dupuy turns private tragedy into public jubilation, celebrating the infinitely recombinatory power of jangly chords, tight drumwork, and warm vocals to express the diversity of experience.
The remainder of the release is equally lo-fi, competent, and accessible, recalling something from Arm Candy or Radiator Hospital. It includes a cover of “What Do You Want Me To Do,” a 1978 single originally by the Canadian punks Pointed Sticks. Laika’s version is louder, with Nick Murray’s guitar filling in the original’s sparseness, but at a runtime of 2:26 to Pointed Sticks’ 2:25 the song is otherwise a faithful tribute. That track, whose instrumentation mirrored that of expensive rock while celebrating vital, imminent pains and joys, showed the ways in which pedestrian concerns could be meaningful when taken seriously. For that reason, it’s a fitting inclusion for this release. The catchy track can be yours for $1000, but it’s also streaming for free on bandcamp. As a genre, power pop sets strict rules for the catharsis it offers. By choosing to play it and by offering it both for free and an extreme price, Laika’s Orbit celebrate the value of the quotidian—of their own experience, and of their listeners’, even if their consumption can’t be so conspicuous.
If you’re not of the one percent, the release is, in the spirit of accessibility, streaming for free below.