Bliss on This

Rather than kill off their sound, the band has been attempting to expand it, using more distortion and aggression, yet maintaining that happy edge. "Before, Marthin would show us a song, and we'd say, 'Okay, let's play it,'" explains Tamblay. "And now we analyze it before we decide 'we like your idea, but let's put another chord in it.'"

The band counts Eighties New Wave and alternative bands such as the Cure, the Smiths, New Order, and Depeche Mode -- as well as Latin rock bands such as Chile's Los Prisioneros -- among their influences. (Tamblay says he is heavily influenced by the Doors; Bove's style draws from his classical training.) Then there is the undeniable influence of traditional Latin American culture on their music: Escuti, Chan, and Howard are Chilean, Bove was born in Italy and raised in Venezuela, and Tamblay is Peruvian. In fact, in the middle of an otherwise rocking set, Orgasmic Bliss frequently pulls out traditional Latin American instruments such as charangos, bombos, zamponas, and flutes to perform Andean lullabies.

It comes as no great surprise then that one of the band's long-term goals is to break into the Latin American rock market, particularly in Chile, Argentina, and Peru. Recently they appeared in a segment of the music show Control on Univisi centsn, which is broadcast in several Latin American countries. Tamblay also traveled to Chile last month, where he says he made several contacts with television and radio producers.

"I would love to go back there and play in front of our people, our roots," says Escuti wistfully. "We don't sing in Spanish, but I think that's better for us. [Latin American audiences] want to hear English-speaking bands."

As for short-term goals, Orgasmic Bliss wants to release its CD-in-progress, Surreal. They have recorded more than seventeen songs at the music studios of Miami-Dade Community College's South Campus, where Tamblay studies music engineering with producer-engineer-backup vocalist-pianist Mike Blatty. The band plans to release another single, "Decay," in advance of the CD. Additionally, they'd like to play bigger shows, possibly with national bands appearing in the area. After headlining a show this Saturday at Marsbar with the Wilcoxes, 23, and the Bureau, they'll perform an outdoor concert on Lincoln Road the following Saturday with Muse, Mobias, and the Miles. A fall tour of Florida also has been discussed. Meanwhile, wherever the band plays, they'll bring along their joyful melodies, evocative lyrics, and danceable rhythms.

"We want to make it, like everyone else, and we've had to market ourselves the right way and play the right venues," Chan says. "Overall we've chosen the right places to play. Now we're in the position where we can choose what we do next."

Orgasmic Bliss, the Wilcoxes, 23, the Bureau, and Lunabelle play Saturday, July 22, as part of Marsbar's first anniversary party. Admission is $7. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Marsbar is located at 8505 Mills Dr (in the Kendall Town & Country mall); 271-6909.

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