Atlas And The Astronaut

Atlas And The Astronaut

Independent release, 2012

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Like most debuts, Atlas And The Astronaut wears its influences rather explicitly; strong hints of Queens Of The Stone Age, Rush, and a slight punk leaning characterize the extended EP from this Vancouver four-piece.

No question these guys can rock, especially bassist Casey Aspengren, whose runs up the fretboard anchor several of the songs and provide a nice counterpoint to the over-the-top keening wail of Beau Rosser. Sounding a bit like Geddy Lee getting a prostate exam, Rosser’s voice takes some getting used to in its highest register and it tends to squander the potential of songs like “Uncle Elephant.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

When Rosser tones it down, the band shines through. “Marrow, The Anchor” is the highlight here, recalling a ‘90s alt-rock sound (think Live) with lyrics that seem to celebrate crude, consuming love (“Stick your tongue in beehive’s honey / Stick your tongue deep into it,” Rosser croons, before adding the ever-romantic “Spread your legs if you wanna feel this”). To get that taste out of your mouth, try “Zakynthos,” which has prog-rock lyrics and a pretty good groove that probably sounds great live.

Rather than bash through several guitar-based tracks, the guys are not afraid to experiment with a spacey instrumental (“Stone Burner”) and feedback-drenched acid trips (“Fatigue For The Quail”), but most of the music stays in the same sort of punk-Rush-Wolfmother hybrid, and few of the melodies are truly memorable. “The Flight, Part 1” is the best example of this dichotomy, crossing a decent rock verse for an irritating staccato, off-kilter chorus with Rosser hollering at the top of his lungs for no reason.

Atlas And The Astronaut is not quite successful on its own but, like a good debut EP, there is promise for these guys that hail from the mean streets of Musictown. Check out their Facebook page or Web site to learn more.

Rating: C-

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