Disclaimer: God Is An Astronaut is probably one of the first post-rock bands I’ve listened to. Even more so, one of the bands with whom I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage a few years back (Torsten, Niels and Lloyd are the most down to Earth artists I’ve ever met). So what you’re about to read is unapologetically a biased review of their upcoming album, Ghost Tapes #10.
Adrift, the first song on the album, sets the tone for what I would call a God Is An Astronaut you never knew ever existed. 90’s grunge riffs, dirty delayed guitar leads and distorted bass lines, followed by the atmospheric trademark the band is known for. Right from the get-go, I can definitely say that the Production is perfect. A lot of work has been put into capturing every detail on what the band is expressing on Ghost Tapes #10. And this song clearly establishes the vibe that we are going to experience throughout the entire album.
Burial is the song that the band chose to announce the album through, releasing it as the first single. And I think it’s safe to say that they made the right choice: dark melodies, deep piano chords and a constant state of anxiety, all tailored in a way to make you nod your head at the same time.
If there’s something I think more post-rock genre bands should embrace more is experimenting with odd time signatures and groovy drum beats, rather than the usual (and overdone, at this point) crescendos and reverb-driven lead parts. I think In Flux is doing just that. The song starts off with a dark synth pad part, followed shortly by a 7/8 time signature beat. I could definitely hear this song in Quentin Tarantino’s next action movie’s soundtrack.
Spectres picked up from where In Flux left off, in a similar odd time signature beat and a fear inducing soundscape . This gem is one of the best examples on how the band have distanced themselves from albums like All Is Violent, All Is Bright or Helios / Erebus. I’m pretty sure that more than 16 years ago they wouldn’t have had a clue that they would put out an album such as this one. An album I cannot wait for all of you to listen to.
Fade is God Is An Astronaut’s second single off Ghost Tapes #10 and it clearly doesn’t disappoint in maintaining the solid feeling the entire album’s been built upon. However, unlike the 4 previous songs, we’re listening to a more melody oriented song, rather than the riff based songs like Burial and Spectres.
Barren Trees is probably my favourite song on the album! It managed to encapsulate all of my expectations from this long awaited release: groovy drum beats, courtesy of Lloyd Hanney, Torsten’s airy vocals and riffs and Niels’s amazing bass lines, all wrapped up in a reinvented grungy God Is An Astronaut.
Luminous Waves is the closing song and it’s something I was waiting to hear from the GIAA crew in a long time. I strongly think that, if they would try to write Fragile once again, this song would definitely sound like it.
Conclusion: The album clearly represents a departure from Epitaph, Helios / Erebus and basically, most of what we’ve been used to hearing from God Is An Astronaut. Of course, that’s not a negative aspect. It’s actually quite the opposite. If there’s something that I respect the most in a band is their ability to innovate their sound and re-invent themselves, over and over again. Ghost Tapes #10 does just that and I cannot wait to listen the s**t out of it on repeat.”
Review by Mircea Becherescu