Vintage space/prog-rock fans rejoice! Astra's debut record is an excellent throw-back to the wonderful time that was. The moment i seen the Arik Roper designed artwork i immediately knew what i was in for.
To lead you into what lies ahead, the opening track is five minutes of pure build-up. Spacey flutes simmer over some ridiculously rockin' Hawkwind-like guitar exploration. Like i said, build-up. It segues into argueably the absolute highlight of the album, the title track. It is in these next 15 minutes you really get a sense of what this band has to offer. First up is the 'Echoes' like vocal harmonies, as well as the melodic guitar work. Up until this point it all sounds like an early Floyd epic, that is however until the KC-like Mellotron, Brass & Sax take over and blow you the fuck away. Hell, throw in some early Iommi-like riffs in for good measure. The other high point for me is the short psych-folk piece, 'Broken Glass', making use of some nice acoustic Mediterranean-like guitar, which serves a great contrast to the rest of the ear-raping awesomeness.
If you're a fan of all the bands who did this kind of thing back in the day, you will really get a kick out of it. The production is a little dodgy, but i'm sure they've locked into this retro kind of sound and production on purpose. One can only wonder what this might of sounded like had it taken advantage of all the modern day crystal clear production techniques. Having said that, it most certainly kicks ass! I wouldn't have it any other way.
Feel free to stop by and check out some of the goodies that have passed through my ears throughout the last few years. Delve into the archive and find something from every which era/genre. I more or less post psych/prog/folk/fusion stuff, although i do like to mix things up from time to time. Please leave a request or a general message in my chatbox, i always enjoy reading your feedback.
I'd also like to add that i think we should all be supporting these artists and the amazing work they do by buying the actual records or going to shows etc. So consider this a preview, if you enjoy what you find here, go buy it. Oh, and if anyone at any time wants me to take an album/link down from this page just shoot me an email or leave a comment in the desired post.