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The Asteroid Shop

(The Council; US: 18 Oct 2011; UK: 18 Oct 2011)

The Asteroid Shop is a gauzy, hazy slab of pop-rock goodness that roars—dreamily—out of your speakers in a way that’s almost comforting. There isn’t much about the band that’s especially new, but sometimes familiarity breeds not contempt, but appreciation. That’s certainly the case here.


Opening track “Destroyer” is among the album’s most raucous, built up from layers of guitar distortion, while “Planetary” takes an initially more placid turn before erupting into an unexpected but welcome crescendo. Other tunes follow the pattern of being either mainly-acoustic introspections or quiet shoegaze meltdowns. A few tracks stand out, namely “Dandelion”, with its shimmering layers of synth and guitar, and album closer “Sinner’s Life” which trades in both jangly reverb and a gentle, affecting melody. Songs tend to be well-written and tightly performed. It’s a pity then that the weakest link is arguably singer Eric Brendo, whose vocals tend to be thin and rather forgettable. The Asteroid Shop isn’t going to rewrite the rock songbook and isn’t trying to, but for fans of dreamy noise, they’re worth a listen.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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