Astronoid's debut full length Air was released just under a month ago at the time of writing and it is already getting some rave reviews on various websites, blogs and podcasts. I am happy to report this is all very much deserved, the US five-piece have created an album of self-styled 'dream thrash' that is a very easy and enjoyable listen.
Building layer upon layer of heavy, swirly guitars, pounding fast drums and a higher-register vocal style (think latter-era Cynic or perhaps Icelandic post rock weirdos Sigur Ros), Air is a treat to listen to. The overall sound is uplifting, exciting and slightly melancholic at the same time.
Opener Incandescent eases you in before attacking with (pleasingly) fast/thrashy drums. It would be very easy to coast along at mid-pace in this style of music, but Astronoid have a thread of heavy metal running right down the middle of their sound, jacking up the intensity and making the music more urgent.
Mid-album track Violence defies its title by being a stop-gap/breather, before the awesomely cinematic Homesick. The title track is a highlight, but Obsolete is a corker of a track (and album high point) that has an excellent solo with a that final half accelerates towards the end.
I've mentioned several bands as reference points to the sound, and if you enjoy any of the aforementioned acts you will probably dig Astronoid. But I don't want to disservice the band's own merits here. Simply put, Air is a fantastic album that more people should hear. I bet they would be an awesome live act too!
Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.