From the gee wiz geekiness of its name, Nottingham outfit Spaceships Are Cool would seem to promise a giddy blast of sci-fi-infused new wave pop. Indeed, the music of multi-instrumentalist and mastermind Rob Maddison and his fellow space cadets is full of synth beeps and whooshes straight out of a 1950s B-movie. The clever “Let Things Go” slowly unwinds its melody behind a square, robotic rhythm of blocky drums and droning keyboards, but the rest of this five-song introduction already shows Maddison having much loftier ambitions, urging his songs into epic psychedelia when they might be more comfortable as sub three-minute pop tunes. The result is overwrought sonic lead balloons like “Strawberry Kickers” and “Gingerbread Houses”, songs that find Maddison attempting to emulate Animal Collective when he should be aiming to emulate Devo. It ultimately makes for an album that is nowhere near as fun as it should be.
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// Notes from the Road
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