Astronautalis – The Mighty Ocean & The Dark Theaters (CD)

I would say that Astronautalis was a new-country type of band, but there is a heavy amount of electronic and indie influence during the band’s first track on “The Mighty Ocean…”, “Short Term Memory Loss”. At some point, Astronautalis is a very fun and catchy act. The vocal style presses the listeners to try to dissect all that the lead vocalist is saying. The delivery during “Short Term Memory Loss” is very quick but not at the point where the composition cannot bear it. There seems to be an electronic form of beatboxing that opens up the disc’s second track, “Meet Me Here Later”.

The indie rock again comes into play soon after, but this electronic awning does not remove itself as was the case during “Short Term Memory Loss”. This presence makes Astronautalis a much different creature than they were during the opening track. The band is not going to paint themselves into a corner at such an early part of this album. The band is going to be the next Postal Service; the fusion of indie rock and electronica may have had an expression during The Postal Service’s last album, but this is an entirely new style.

Gone are the smoothed-out antics of acts like Fischerspooner; songs like “Seaweed Sheets” drop the indie style completely and make Astronautalis into a very intelligent rap act along the styles of Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony (if they smoked down Cake). The electronic jags of Astronautalis’ style are shown in all their glory during “Lost at Sea”. The indie style meshes with the electronic stylings to make something that is catchy without being safe and antiseptic. The band is some of the most eclectic performers that I’ve ever heard. On just one track, hints of indie, electronica, emo, and rap can all be present and the overall sound is something that is not garbled or crowded in any way. Each subsequent track on “The Mighty Ocean” is something new and exciting for Astronautalis and all listening in. If an individual cannot find anything that they can appreciate on this album, they are not listening hard enough. Astronautalis has a hit album on their hands, but this will only blow up if the album falls in the right hands. The music present is open and honest, allowing all who listen in to find something that they will grow to love about the band. Pick the disc up, it is completely worth the $10 or so it will cost to find and buy it.

Top Tracks: Astigmatism, Xmas in July

Rating: 7.0/10

[JMcQ]

Astronautalis – The Mighty Ocean & The Dark Theaters / 2006 Fighting / 12 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/astronautalis / http://www.fightingrecords.com / Reviewed 09 August 2006

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