The voice of celebrity can sometimes rightly and wrongly have a highly persuasive impact on essences of society and political apathy. Equally arousing as proven decade by decade can be the assertion and roar of musicians and their vociferous sounds. They can be a rich echo of the issues and divisions in the world and a rousing ‘call to arms’ to their refusal. UK goth punks Calling All Astronauts have been a creative thorn in a world of indifference, bigotry, persecution and more for the past seven years but maybe one of their releases has never been more relevant and impactful to what is going around them as well as being simply striking than new album, #Resist.
Since emerging in 2013, Calling All Astronauts has regularly entrapped ears and praise with their fusion of goth and electro punk, but a sound never afraid to stretch its landscape and enrich its snarl with fresh enterprise and creative venom. It is fair to say their debut album, Post Modern Conspiracy, that first year immediately gripped attention as it enticed acclaim, both escalating as single and EP led to and surrounded 2016second full-length, Anti-Social Network. Each encounter has seen the band grow and intensify the adventure of their sound, each flourishing in evolution which #Resist now basks in.
The seeds for the trio of David B (vocals, programming, keys, producing), Paul McCrudden (bass, guitar, keys), and J Browning (guitar) go back to their time in seminal rap-metallers, US:UK. After its demise, J went on to form pop-punkers Caffeine while Paul joined Goth outfit The Marionettes. A chance meeting though reunited David and J with Calling All Astronauts the result, the threesome back together when Paul linked up as the band set to work on that ear gripping second album.
Mixed by Alan Branch (Depeche Mode, NIN, U2), #Resist took little time to spark an already in place appetite for the band’s sound to date but equally evoked keen anticipation for new development and extension as The Holy Trinity opened things up. Keys immediately surround ears bringing drama and intrigue swiftly echoed in the surges of guitar. CAA have bred an identity and sound which is unmistakably their own and again it envelops song and persuasion as David’s equally distinctive tones lyrically provoke and highlight. With rhythms a similarly dark place of intimation as the fusion of melody and sonic tension around them, the track is a gripping start to the release.
Divided States Of America strolls in with matching strength and tenacity, every aspect built on sharp imagination and persuasive muscle yet it soon reveals taunting hooks and fiery grooves which easily slipped under the skin. Like a fly on the wall to the state of its concentration, the song unveils a host of compelling twists and turns, all lined with virulent hooks and melodic enterprise with eighties synth pop hues. The track is superb, epitomising the creative growth and imagination in songwriting and its realisation before Give Them A Leader stamps its own authority over attention and enjoyment. David’s dark tones bring an edge to songs which alone court keen heed and regard, here a magnetic shadow across the marching sounds, with Paul’s bass a unique tempter in their midst, sharing a creative flourish just as captivating.
The likes of Ministry, Mindless Self Indulgence, and New Order are regularly touted as hints to CAA’s music, all relevant clues yet as Rapture proves only suggesting shades of their music as it infests the senses with its fusion of eighties gothic rock/post punk and industrial incitement, the track carrying something akin to Alien Sex Fiend meets KMFDM/ Nitzer Ebb in the lining of its uniqueness while New World Disorder shares another electronic hue in the album’s kaleidoscope of imagination. Seduction and trespass align in its body, again essences across recent decades courting originality in its haunting presence.
As Fifteen Minutes and Resist share their individual offerings so the album only gripped all the tighter, the first a punk fired incursion which the release, not for the first time, shares something of an Amen-esque grievance upon ears within. The second in turn nags and harries the senses with its defiance fuelled uprising, the trio enlivening both with their united invention and craft with next up Post Truth World matching their thick temptation with its synth pop saunter and indie rock punch.
Finalising a favourite moment within #Resist has proven impossible so far, every minute of every track a persuasive suggestion but Reason persistently lurks around first thoughts with its animated contagion and enslaving catchiness. Bass and guitars again just ignited greed with their imaginative enterprise, one only escalated by keys and David’s cajoling tones before Welcome To The Black Bloc had the body bouncing and pleasure aflame as thoughts are stoked once more by band and release.
Completed by Not In My Name and brought to a boisterous conclusion by its snappy moves and dark manipulations led again by the devious resonance of Paul’s bass strings, #Resist is the finest and most compelling outing with Calling All Astronauts yet.
In a world of change enforced and desired but one where the worse in man seems empowered by its leaders, a voice for all wrongs and equally something to find pleasure in it’s a hungry desire, Calling All Astronauts and #Resist provide both.
#Resist is out now; available @ https://music.apple.com/gb/album/resist/1513156706?app=music
Pete RingMaster 11/05/2020