Front man Vinnie Dombroski made his name with alt-rock giants Sponge in the ‘90s, smashing into the charts with hits like “Plowed and ”Molly (16 Candles)”. Sponge were formed out of the ashes of the hard rock band Loudhouse, and they were signed to Sony Records for their first two albums (Rotting Pinata and Wax Ecstatic) and were the opening band on the first night of the Kiss reunion tour in 1996.

That band is still a going concern, as are Dombroski’s fetish-tinged industrial band Crud, proving that the singer is as prolific as he is talented.

It was during the early part of the new millennium when Dombroski discovered his talent for writing fire n’ brimstone, honky-tonk hoe-down from Hell cow-punk music, and before long he found himself with a gun case full of songs that would shake the dust from the oldest Stetson, but wouldn’t fit comfortably in either Sponge’s or Crud’s repertoire.

The obvious solution was to form a new band entirely, one that could roam from dive bar to social club, avoiding the spit n’ sawdust on the floors to bring the party to everyone from the hipsters to the ignored. The band, Jackson Smith on guitars and  pedal steel, Bob Hecker on bass, and Jimmy Paluzzi on drums, are one of the hardest working in Detroit, and in this town that’s really saying something.


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Debut album Redneck Disco was released in 2003, simultaneously introducing the world to a band which had been honing it’s incendiary live show since it’s inception a couple of years before. That album, which was re-released in 2008 as Redneck Disco Revisited, featured such slabs of whisky-soaked Michigan mayhem as the self-explanatory “Long Line of Sinners”, a dirty cover of Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue”, “La De Da” (a song which celebrates the fact that nobody would want to live next door to these reprobates) and “Haul Ass”, the latter being the Orbitsuns’ call to arms.

The band avoided trouble while filming the video for “Long Line of Sinners”, which is posted here. After setting fire to a car on the east side of Detroit (not a particularly rare event, admittedly) without first obtaining the required permits, the police arrived but just drove away. Cheekily, the Orbitsuns managed to slap a “HAUL ASS” sticker on a departing fire truck.

2006 saw the release of the band’s second album, Dollars & Dice, a record that had the Orbitsuns picking up where they left off. “I love girls that swear”, sings Dombroski on the song of the same name, confirming what their fans already suspected; the Orbitsuns are gloriously filthy and magnificently sleazy, and nobody would want them any other way. “Damn Straight I’m Drinkin’ Again”, “Tornado In My Pants” and the title track celebrate, in turn, alcohol, sex and gambling – all of the main vices – with a passion that hammers home the fact that these outlaw country musicians are genuine outlaws.

Their live shows are less a simple concert and more an event, a party. That truth holds regardless of whether the band is playing in front of 4 people or 400.

Nobody goes to see the Orbitsuns in order to have a relaxing evening, sat in a seat watching some music. The Orbitsuns are built for dancing to, for releasing the frustrations of the day, for letting go of apprehensions and allowing oneself to dance like a drunken redneck in the knowledge that everyone else is doing the same thing. Those that do wander in without any previous knowledge of the band will inevitably find themselves having a great time, on their feet, when that was perhaps the last thing that they expected.

It was their consistently incredible live performances, as well as two albums of perfectly executed outlaw country music, that encouraged Chicago’s finest Cheap Trick and, later, veteran country artist David Allen Coe, to take the Orbitsuns out on tour.

In many ways, the Orbitsuns are the archetypal Detroit band. They have the grit to their noise that is associated with music from this region; they have simply transferred that same fire, that passion, into the cow-punk rodeo arena. These are experienced, respected musicians having the time of their lives. These are loveable deviants completely at ease with cowboy boots and bent Stetson hats. This is the greatest party band of the decade, capable of encouraging a maniacal hoe-down before bringing things back with a slow dance.

This is the Orbitsuns.

Get with the damned program.

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