There is no disguising that we have a definite appetite for the politically charged electro punk/rock of Calling All Astronauts which governs anticipation each and every time a release approaches. It also makes extra demands on the London based trio, breeding a want to be surprised by a sound which is fiercely distinctive to them. The band has met the challenge each and every time with varying but always firm success so far, and with their new single Empire swept it aside with one of their finest moments yet.
Stepping forward from the shadows in 2011, Calling All Astronauts has become one of Britain’s not only tenaciously creative and inventively confrontational bands but a strong supporter of other new and emerging artists. Musically they have been an acclaimed live presence which over subsequent years has shared stages with the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen, PWEI, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, and A Place To Bury Strangers, as well as headline and sell out Alan Magee’s Death2Disco at Notting Hill Arts Club, success backed up by a host of tracks and singles stirring up broader attention. It was with the release of debut album Post Modern Conspiracy though where more intense spotlights were provoked, it spawning further acclaim and support through its subsequent singles, all increasing the wealth of eager ears and fans surrounding the threesome. Last year saw the outstanding Who Wants to Die? single stir even more media and fan hunger, its success emulated again by Show Me Love earlier this year and now Empire, a track easy to suggest as being one of Calling All Astronauts’ very best incitements.
Straight away the song is igniting ears and emotions with its opening flame of guitar, the JJ Browning crafted coaxing aligning with the thick lures of bass offered by Paul McCrudden. Wrapped in the expressive caresses offered by the keys of David Bury, the song is an immediate seduction with a snarl in its heart and a lining of antagonism in its belly, a dark side accentuated by the distinctive and ever enjoyable dour throated tones of Bury. Quickly strolling along with an electro punk tenacity and irritable energy, the song hints at becoming a raging inferno but never erupts, instead holding back to persistently tease and entice as spiky and elegant melodies escape the guitar and keys respectively.
The track is one of those anthems which quickly get under the skin without forcing itself down the throat; its narrative and tone a slow burner of a persuasion infesting the imagination and psyche with consummate and inventive ease. That restraint never threatens to subdue the virulence of its enterprise though, only breeding a contagion of energy and spicy grooves to enlist quick and full involvement of the listener in body and thought. It is a quality Calling All Astronauts has had for a long time but honed it into its finest form yet for Empires.
The single is also equipped with quartet of remixes, each discovering and exploring a new aspect and depth to the song. The Skunxx Remix spreads mystique laced exoticism through its enthralling version whilst the Grover Remix delves into the more aggressive and imposing textures of the track, taking ears into a darker beguiling adventure. There is also the Angerwolf Remix which strips things back to the raw skin of the tracks’ heart before encasing it with dance-floor flirtation and to complete the release, the Pse Remix with its punk infused rock shaped take on the song. Each make fascinating proposals, enthralling and highly enjoyable fresh looks at the jewel in the crown, Empire itself.
Calling All Astronauts continue to impress and excite; similarly growing bigger and bolder and with Empire, again sure to entice another flock of new and eager followers.
Empire is out now via Supersonic Media @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/empire-ep/id1046265145
Pete RingMaster 04/12/2015
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