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Astral - Forever After

erickfuckingpressman   (18 reviews)

Posted: 12/07/2011 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

Shoegaze is back, everyone! Indie rock seems intent on rebirthing one of its subgenres every six months or so and apparently the hype machine's game of "spin the bottle" landed on the guitar-laden, effects-driven, spacey sound made famous in the late 80s/early 90s by English bands like Ride and My Bloody Valentine. Astral are one of many of a new wave of bands that are putting a 2011 spin on one of the 90s few stylistic successes, and "Forever After" proves to be a solid debut.

Astral has plenty of distorted, reverby guitars that bleed from verse to chorus, but there is a bit of rawness to the production that makes "Forever After" unique amongst this new crop of shoegaze bands. The band also isn't afraid of utilizing jerky, dancey rhythms, something that traditional shoegaze bands would often shy away from. Songs like "All Is Said And Done" and "Fall Away" are total club bangers that almost make you taste overpriced beer and cocaine-laced hipster sweat. "Not Too Late" and "Dahlia's Failing" follow more of the wall of noise, rock n roll shoegaze blueprint, proving the band's ability to move seemlessly through the spectrum of their influences. No matter what Astral does with their songs, its easy to get lost in their swirling guitars and melodic vocals, which is what makes shoegaze so awesome in the first place.

"Forever After" may not get this band on next year's Coachella or played in the background of "Jersey Shore's" next season, but its just as solid, if not more so, than their peers with a touch more fame. Astral manage to make indie rock sound and feel personal again, which is rare at a time when it seems like so many bands are trying to out "nerd" each other. Fans of loud guitars who also don't mind shaking their ass from time to time are going to have a field day with this record. "Forever After" may be slept on, but its time for people to wake up and get into it.

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