Review Summary: Tell the vocalist to shut up.
With the release of Fruit
in 2009, an album that sounds like a very odd mish-mash of Pink Floyd and a jazz band from the heart of New Orleans, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour had garnered at least some mild success. Sporting an explosive scope, an upbeat tone, an annoying female vocalist and a healthy dose of alternative pop, it proved to be a very likable album that was as ridiculous as it sounded. Three years later, after the band mostly became known due to the Heineken commercial and Suits playing this little tune in the background - how the little details count - they come back with Out of Frequency
, which isn't as superior as their debut, but maintains the jazzy flair that made them famous and likable.
From the beginning of the album, one thing is immediately evident - the vocalist is still so damn annoying. Truth be told, Mette Lindberg never was a good vocalist, and it's pretty clear the previous three years haven't been kind to her voice either. It's high pitched and incredibly whiny, think Dave Mustaine meets Ted Neeley, somehow intermixing into a female voice. Whereas those two could sing, somewhat, this chick clearly can't. It tries to utilize singing notes to match the guitar, and it's proven she can't reach high notes or low notes. A vital component of a good band is a vocalist - it's pretty clear there's no wizardry here or anything that screams 'wow, she's good' at us here. All in all a very dismal effort on her part - you know it's sad when the background vocalists will interest the viewer more than the main one does.
The whole album opens with the instrumental and track 'Dollars in the Night', both of which aren't one shade over three minutes. (The two combined are alone under four) The opening track is an unsettling introduction, not to say it's bad per se, but the sound of the outing they attempted here sounds a lot like the opening of 'Us and Them' before transitioning into a very high-pitched saxophone, roiling in high notes. The sax dominates most of the tracks on this whole album, amongst the other instruments included - Mads Brinch Nielsen on his guitar, which hurtles along sounding more like a bass guitar; Rasmus Valldorf does an excellent job on the drums, though they're nothing really to write home about and more or less fades into the background. It's the instruments that ring the album that give it the flair it needs - the 80's style keyboards and synthesizers, such as in the title track and Suburban Space Invader
, two glaring highlights to the whole LP. The additional pieces make up the bulk of the album, such as trumpets and woodwinds, and it somehow mixes in every instrument without sounding far too 'avant-garde' or too cluttered.
Frankly, the appeal of the whole album's real hard to put into words. On one hand, it's easy to be very taken away by the album's wild sense of life - it's pulsing and very upbeat tone, the wild energy it somehow crams into shorter songs not a hair under 3 and a half minutes - with a few exceptions. But even that's kind of a stretch, especially when a good quarter of the album is fill of filler and tracks that the album could of gone without, and that vocalist who keeps singing in that voice that sounds like she's got the microphone halfway up her vagina doesn't help. It's still more than worthy to carry this band's definitely promising name, and it's definitely something to get into - the unique sound will wrap over you like a sodden blanket. But approach with an open mind - it's an album to grow towards. Like a hand of FreeCell - no matter how annoying it may seem at first, you'll get hooked soon if you give it a chance.
Suburban Space Invader
Out of Frequency
When It Comes To Us
Theme from 45 Eugenia