ARTIST: Vast Asteroid
RELEASE: Vast Asteroid
RELEASE DATE: 20th November 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Roaringly loud, emotive dream pop, space gaze and shoegaze runs wild on the self-titled debut album from California based Vast Ateroid, a band made up of musicians from various seminal bands and pioneering genre-bending writers and artists. Vast Asteroid sound somewhere between the layered pop-rock style of bands like Ride and the more sonic free-form dream-pop sounds of bands like Best Coast. Altogether the album is an enjoyably laid back affair, using previous tricks and trades of shoegaze and dream-pop mixed with spaced out alternative rock, while also presenting a more laid back, guitar centric sound of shoegaze that stands on the opposite side of the fence to the heavy, loud reverb soaked art music of bands like MBV or Loveliescrushing. Their brand new self-titled eight track debut album gets it’s full official release on November 20th 2017 and is available to pre-order right now via vastasteroid.bandcamp.com
‘Mincemeat’ offers a neat intro; slightly lowering in velocity and sonic layering than the other songs on the album, however, as an intro, it’s a fitting start to the album. ‘Sleep’ opens more of an alt-rock vein on the album, highlighting the bands neat blend of coastal-beach like tones and the shoegaze textures to their music. The vocals especially are significantly reminiscent of the kind of dream pop music that hazingly outlines nostalgic considerations of the past and catchy guitar riffs. ‘Drowning’ shows off another catchy and greatly enjoyable guitar riff, and sounds similar to the previous track both vocally and instrumentally. The break at just past the two minute mark also highlights a neat contrast in the full-colour of the music. ‘Vivid Dream’ drenches the music with heavier and denser guitar passages, making the general mood of the song somewhat darker than other tracks on the album. The outro, and especially lines like ‘we can hide outside of our favourite dream’ highlight the well written structures the songs take, and how pleasurable this is for the listener.
‘Encrypted’ adds a danceable post-punk beat and more pop based melody to the bands already established alt-rock sound. While it’s a neat listen and overall quite catchy, it is perhaps the only song on the album that sounds close to an album filler. ‘Poison Fang’, flips completely into near psych-rock territory, its hypnotised vocal performance and power pop-style chord progression crafts an entertaining blend of melodically satisfying sound whilst injecting comforting music and song. The middle (around 3 minute mark) features the greatest guitar performance on the entire album, soaring high into a beautiful meld of noise and different musical texturing: in the background a wall of noise type sound plays on and on… It could perhaps be the best song on the entire album. Then, after the sonic adventure that was ‘Posion Fang’, comes the over fifteen minute ‘Spacegaze’. It would somewhat of a long story to explain what happens over the fifteen minutes, so to save you some time I’ll just say this: it mostly does the trick. The second half especially, with its mix of intricately tinkering bells and background guitar fuzz and feedback, creates a droning and inventive soundscape of condensed and wavering sounds. Is it necessary? I couldn’t really tell you… But it is very cool.
Vast Asteroid’s self-titled debut album is best digested less as a deep critical evaluation of shoegaze and dream pop and more as an enjoyable romp through well written and catchy songs. The band occasionally become distracted and somewhat lost with the music they play, leading the album (especially on songs like ‘Spacegaze’) to become occasionally lost and inconsistent. Besides those small facts, the album is steeped in a comforting wave of tight performances, nifty production and a full sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.