Spoiler – Astronoid are my new favourite band!
I love it when I discover a band, no matter what stage of their career. Whenever you’re introduced to a new act/singer, you have one of two reactions. You either have the “love, love, love” period when you need to listen to everything / one particular song on repeat. Their music manifests itself in your sleep, you absentmindedly start to hum it when on the phone, people think you’re mad playing air guitar whilst listening to your MP3 player, that sort of thing. The alternative is when you feel like it’s for the best interests of you and the artist / band to never interact again, as if a blood feud is about to start. These are both very natural, human reactions (taken to the *nth degree for illustration purposes only).
But what has this got to do with Groveland natives, Astronoid?
Well, everything really. But I have to tell you a tale (which does include some unintentional self-promotion). As well as vocalising my dyslexic thoughts on this fine blog, I also present a radio show in the UK called Attention Please on a local community station called NE1FM (other local shows are available). One of the features of the show is called The Dunmore Record of the Week, which is my friend and former blog colleague Luke Dunmore selecting a song to inflict on the general public. I can’t remember the exact date, but Mr. Dunmore picked a song from Astronoid’s last release, an album called Air to be played. The song was well received by the audience, so I added their name to my never-ending list of bands to investigate further.
Now, a little bit about Astronoid. As mentioned (according to their FB page), they are from Groveland, Boston, MA. Formed in 2012, Astronoid released two EP’s (November and Stargazing) before releasing Air. Over the years, they have toured with bands such as Tesseract, Periphery, Animals As Leaders, Zeal & Ardor, and Ghost. With a solid fan-base behind them, they seem to be one of the bands who are on the up, looking forward, and bringing something new to the Post-Metal scene.
So, why is Astronoid your favourite new Post-Metal band?
Well, there are a few reasons I would think that this sentence applies to your my dear reader. Firstly, the way they’re selling their album through the Blood Music Bandcamp page (linked here) is rather heartwarming. Basically, it’s an honest jar rating, Astronoid listed as being initially a “name your price” product. There is a sliding scale in Euros that you can pay, but it’s not a defined amount and you can pay more or less as you wish. Now, I like that sort of system It means that people who might not be able to afford the full price can still contribute. It warms the heart, it really does.
It also helps that the music is the dog’s bollocks as they say in good ol’ Blighty. Nine songs in forty-eight minutes, each with the power to engage any listener and transport them away from the world. It starts off with the beautiful “A New Color” (American spelling as that is how they wrote it), goes epic with the glorious “Fault” (which will be in my top ten tracks of the year), hits ultra heavy with “Water” and ends with the spectacular “Ideal World”. Each twist, each turn brings something new. It’s also heavy, I mean it’s ridiculously heavy for a Post-Metal album. This is a good thing, as it has a good focus on the “metal” and not just the atmospheric noise.
But how does Astronoid sound, I hear you say……
Well, imagine Devin Townsend/Strapping Young Lad had managed to get Mogwai to listen to Slayer instead of King Crimson. Then, add speed, not the drug, but the pace. I swear that no bass player should be able to shred like Daniel Schwartz, the man is a machine. As are drummer Matt St. Jean, guitarist Casey Aylward and vocalist/guitarist Brett Boland. Vocally, the only person I can compare the vocals of Brett Boland is Geddy Lee of Rush. Not because they share a vocal range, but because both vocalists have a unique range. It compliments the music, the heavy artillery of noise, with the voice of an angel.
With each spin of Astronoid, I’m finding more about the album and the band themselves. Astronoid is an ALBUM, it’s an event. It’s a record that can be digested in its separate components or as a whole. Truly, I’ve yet to hear a song and want to skip it. I’ve yet to lose focus, become bored and long may this continue. Metal, Post-Metal, whatever you call it, can be a stifled genre. I’m a fan, love the genre and I find that it can be limiting. So, it’s pleasing to hear something new and exciting, especially when music seems to be regressing in some ways. What I suggest you all do, is purchase this album. Get into Astronoid before you have to lie and say you’ve always liked them.
Owner of more Frank Zappa music than one human needs, two cats and looked after by an Angel, Eddie Carter thinks about music more than a Geordie should. Hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, Eddie spends most of his time surrounded by CD’s and records. He also writes for All The Time I Was Listening to My Own Wall of Sound, his beard is grey and not long enough – also, he wants a pint.