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.
©2004 Skyscraper Magazine.
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