It is easy to have an on-going appetite for a band but not always as simple to keep the fervour of the enthusiasm for their work burning just as brightly, especially as they evolve and move away from the things which first beguiled ears and imagination. With British electro rockers Calling All Astronauts no such problem has existed to date; with each release as they have grown and experimented, they seem to have sparked even more vivacious praise and greed; a success which will only continue with their new album Anti-Social Network.
The eleven track incitement is the CAA sound at its most rounded and mature yet and equally at its most adventurous and diverse. Recently talking about Anti-Social Network, band vocalist and album producer David Bury revealed, “We wanted to make an album we would buy ourselves, that pays homage to our heroes and many influences whilst still sounding like us. I think we’ve just about got there” Get there they did with tracks with harken back to seventies/eighties gothic and electro pop influences whilst uncaging a modern snarl of rock ‘n’ roll with a political and emotional bite as forceful as the virulence which ensures feet and hips are as eager and voracious as ears.
The successor to heavily acclaimed debut album Post Modern Conspiracy, and in turn the singles and EP which followed it, the band’s eagerly awaited second album is the outcome of “20 months of insane creativity that saw the guys locked in their studio for days on end as they wrote, engineered and produced an album that stretched their creativity like never before.” Straight away it makes a potent impact, Living the Dream bringing the album to ears with a poppy yet shadow kissed invitation. Within it, the dark bass lure cast by Paul McCrudden almost prowls ears as a melodic and infectious swing brightly entices around the distinctive stony vocals of Bury. Feet are tapping within the first round of electronic beats whilst hips soon get involved with J Browning’s spicy grooves, the body seduced by the lively contagion which is slightly reminiscent of bands like Modern English and B-Movie.
It is a great start quickly eclipsed by the even more addictive Empire. Released as a greedily devoured single towards the end of last year, it immediately runs its tempting fingers across the senses with the moody bait of McCrudden bass and the mouth-watering hooks of Browning, all within an equally captivating electronic climate. Punkish with an alluring irritability to its twists and a scent of aggravation to Bury’s expressive vocals, Empire beguiles body and thoughts, inciting thick involvement from each before making way for the spiky electro punk defiance of Time to Fight Back. With the additional agitated tenacity to spark any dance-floor, the song has the body bouncing as emotions raise a middle-finger to surrounding ills, a touch of Sigue Sigue Sputnik meets Pop Will Eat Itself doing its successful persuasion no harm.
The already familiar Hands Up Who Wants To Die? is the provider of more energetic and contagious exploits, ripe hooks and flaming guitar enterprise lighting ears as rhythms back the punch of vocals and words with skittish boisterousness. It too has an imposing charm and vivacious resourcefulness hard to resist, as too Life as We Know It which follows with a mellower but no less fascinating and arresting romancing of hips and ears. CAA might take swipes at establishments and worldly corruptions but barely a song goes by without the trio leading the listener into physical collusion with its inescapable dance-ability.
Through the heavier air and rock ‘n’ roll of The American Dream, a track which gives a hint to what Iggy Pop would sound like it he went down the electro/industrial route, and the fiery God Is Dead with its bubbly scathing, attention and thick enjoyment is again firmly taken care of, even if neither quite live up to those before them, whilst Always Be True hugs ears with a synth pop laced reflection. It too might miss the last spark of other tracks for our ears but with Bury adding a great Tom Waits like texture to his enticing tones as the electronic atmospherics of the song come loaded with their own suggestiveness, the Fad Gadget tinged track is a compelling and increasingly potent proposal.
The outstanding Look in Your Eye has ardour blazing again with its conspicuous gothic punk and post punk imagination. Touches of bands like Play Dead and March Violets emerge across the thrilling encounter, but as everywhere, familiar essences and textures are mere strands in something unmistakably Calling All Astronauts. As mentioned earlier, the band wanted to pay homage to their inspirations without losing their own individuality, this track on its own proving their success.
Anti-Social Network is completed by firstly the predacious and again insatiably alluring Black World where a Sister Of Mercy/The Mission like courtship of ears and imagination instantly beguiles and only becomes more intoxicating over time. Finally the band unleashes Divisive upon the passions; its attitude loaded presence spawned from electro punk/metal irritability and infested with devious and rebellious strains of funk and electronic devilment.
It is a mighty close to another powerful and galvanic release from Calling all Astronauts, and the sign that the band is ready to step out of the underground scene and stir up the biggest attention.
Anti-Social Network is released March 11th via Supersonic Media across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 11/03/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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