The Astrojet
Demo CD - Self-Released

During the mid to late Eighties bands like Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Breathless and countless other "shoegaze" groups embarked on a sonic adventure that ripped through the hearts and souls of unsuspecting music critics and fans alike, all the while delivering oceans of inspiration throughout the land. Almost immediately these valiant lads became revered, acclaimed, imitated and vastly misunderstood; and within a brief five-year span (1988-92), many of these talented scouts had dispersed leaving echoing gaps amongst the ghostly halls of Top 40 radio and journalistic desks piled high to the rafters with sub par Sabbath signings. The thing is, while most suburbanites were truly touched by this refreshing blast of aural atomizing nobody seemed to grasp the fundamental nature of its existence. Ascending directly out of a college rock barrage of Beatnik Boy twee anthems, lifeless dance dreck from once gigantic heroes (Gang Of Four's Mall screams to mind) and an annoyingly gregarious "indie-rock" scene (who the fuck told the Happy Flowers that humor was funny?), the shoegaze "movement" seemed like thee absolute alternative. Walls of fuzzed-out guitars slammed against thick, surging bass grooves, exceedingly sexy vocals effortlessly coaxed virginity both in and out of fashion and the military march picked up some pointers from the rat-a-tat drummers dancing on the frontlines. After almost ten long Limp Bizkit/Backdoor Boys/Korn dominated years since its demise, the shoegaze sound has been raining down in misty rivulets the world over. Manhattan's Astrojet are among the handful of faithful practitioners imparting a clear understanding of that which came before and the vital need to forge ahead. Eschewing reiteration for reinterpretation tracks like "Lying Down" and "Speed Queen" indirectly evoke a blissful homage to Ride's Nowhere, while "Yr Not Alone" and "Spotlight Suicide" concede into a taught balance of subtle melodies and masculine rawk not unlike Cheap Trick or Foo Fighters. The genuine treat, however, falls upon the utterly sublime "Kite" cradling an effortless dynamic cusp twixt ethereal dreamism and classically accessible pop. "She's like flying a kite / No strings attached / She wants to crash..." Contemporarily charming. (Joshua Gabriel)



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