by Tristan Komorny
Saint Augustine has many qualities that make it unique. The history lends to the tourism, the tourism lends to the midnight pub crawls and at some point in the night you can hear in the distance your 'friend' Brittney belting out "Californication" for all of King Street to hear.
Thank God for all of us that with every culture arises a counter-culture, beach and skate kids picking up guitars and discovering the beauty of the late-night jam sesh. From the first time one experiences the more ethereal classics such as Pink Floyd or King Crimson, the spacey timeless echo synchronizes with the bounding tides along Saint Augustine Beach and you end up with bands like Observatory.
Observatory is a five-piece that is Saint Augustine's own deftly-crafted callback to the interstellar riffs of the 70's and 80's. Having played their first show March 2016 as part of Nobfest 5, the band formed from TJ Rosario, vocalist and guitarist, and drummer Christian Comeau's earlier projects; dating back to when they were in high school. Erik Callahan who holds down the bass department, was a friend of TJ and as he describes, "he started laying down fat lines, he was exactly what we were looking for." The trio neighbored funk-infused bass with slinky, delay-ridden guitar work for a solid year. Over time, Anthony Akap joined in on keys and David Holbrook on saxophone and additional percussion in a pentagroup so mighty that all of Pluto's neighboring asteroids fused together with the humble rock making Pluto the largest planet in the known universe. Thusly ensuring galactic conquest with locals like Mister Mellow and Giraffrica, who frequent lineups at Sarbez.
The group is about to release a three-track EP called 'Finally,' "rightfully named because it took us forever to actually get these songs down on tracks," explains TJ. The band told Narrow that they are releasing 'Finally' as a hype-builder for a full-length set to be released soon after. "The EP is a collection of three songs we have lined up for our full-length, ‘Who Knows.’ We chose these songs to more accurately represent our diverse stylings. The underlying concept for the full-length is a wave of self-realization and improving on the quality of life mixed with some vibing instrumentals to keep the energy riding."
The upcoming release includes the songs DDTC (Don't Drop The Cheetah), Toys (The One You Start) and Live Your Life. These tracks are funk-ridden earworms boldly layering many instruments. DDTC is an instrumental that clocks in at 4 minutes, something Phish could literally never do. It has a very “surfy” feel that descends with delayed guitar until the drums come in followed by a rhythmic-stutter breakdown as the songs main tag and a bombastic synth solo. Toys has a fuzzy bassline that gives it a very “dancy” feel. The guitar chords are reminiscent of a power metal ballad that veers off into space with the addition of keyboard. Short and sweet as ever, Live Your Life leads in to a jazz-funk fusion groove. Incorporating suspenseful piano playing with little resolve, a repeated sax line comes in signifying the chorus. This track arguably contains the best guitar solo of the EP.
If this sounds like your bag and you're trying to catch these folks live, head to Sarbez May 3rd where they'll be playing with Space Poi. They're also planning out a two week tour in the Summer through Florida, Georgia and possibly into Tennessee. You can check out their single Live Your Life on Spotify as of right now.