Following on from last year’s ‘Acrophobe’ EP Bad Astronaut’s first full length sees a much more accomplished Astronaut. It may be the addition of no less than FOUR extra band members or it could be vocalist Joey Cape’s further exploration beyond the confines of pop-punk (that’s his other band Lagwagon for those at the back), journeying into the dynamic musical realm occupied by the likes of accessible song-writers such as *Foo Fighters, Granddaddy *and even Mr **Bowie, but the musical proficiency of ‘Houston…’ blatantly outweighs anything Lagwagon could ever achieve.
Just take ’These Days’, an acoustic down-tempo track, layered with a piano and Cello that builds into a thick, full-on chorus. And whereas they may have been experimenting with drum loops and programming on their first release here they incorporate it perfectly into their sound.
A refreshingly varied outing, ‘Houston…’ shows more than a passing infatuation with the Foos from it’s quieter, introspective moments to it’s full-blown rock songs like ‘Single’. The beautiful, piano-led ‘Disarm’, unlike the Smashing Pumpkins’ dramatic hit , has an old 70s feel to it, taking in elements of The Beatles *and *The Doors, before bringing us back to date by blasting it away with distortion.
With 14 tracks so distinguished and strong Bad Astronaut exemplify a maturation that could very well supersede Cape’s Lagwagon. Whether the fans will accept it is another thing.
8Mat Hocking's Score