The Asteroid Shop’s self titled debut is going to make a lot of people really happy. Fronted by a relatively unknown, yet impressively credentialed Eric Brendo, Asteroid lays on the indie sound pretty thick, and tempers it expertly with clean electric guitars and Jonathan Koya’s crisp drumming approach.
The band hails from Austin, TX, and the proof is in the eclectic stream of cult influences found in their product. Every moment is like turning a page in the who’s who of underground rock of the past decade, including but not limited to, Explosions in the Sky, The Dismemberment Plan and just the faintest whisper of Connor Oberst’s latest projects.
Bright Eyes references tend to automatically turn some of the more soulless music fans running in the opposite direction, but just a whiff is present in the tremulous vocals on “Silver Lane” and “Sinner’s Life” and in the overall feeling of wanting to hang your head with your bangs in your face as you listen. Think of it as the pinch of cinnamon in your grandmother’s homemade pancakes. You can’t even really taste it, but it’s the unsung element that makes them taste better than everyone else’s.
Asteroid Shop has cultivated their sound with an invigorating yet soothing quality, leaking morose undertones. There’s a despair that’s not overt, just unapologetically present the band’s pared down nature of doing just enough. Each track says what needs to be said and then ends with a finality forgotten in the first second of the following song. Only to end again. As philosopher Cher Horowitz once affirmed, “They’re way existential.”
This is what The Smashing Pumpkins would sound like if they were still a band. Well, if they continued being a band instead of hastily disbanding and then irrelevantly getting back together for an ill-fated second try out of greed and boredom.
This is what classic rock will sound like to our kids. It’s an album with staying power, if only enough people decide to get up and get on it.
This is what success looks like, Austin style.