LE DISC DE ASTROU, ASTRO
Wash Dishes, Chile
By Carlos Reyes
Astro arrives to Chile’s awesome scene as the new divisive kids on the block. When I say divisive, think of it in its most literal understanding; the love and hate generated by Astro’s galactic-induced songs speak for themselves and reaffirm the band as one of the most arousing and provocative revelations. When we first encountered the band Astro was the luminous project of Octavio Cavieres and Andres Nusser, two young guys driving a spaceship, a couple of months later and they found themselves recruiting two other pilots, a sign of success. “Maestro Distorsion” (a hit on the rise) brought them attention right quick; Le Disc De Astrou hopes to find its place and ground.
Much of Chile’s acclaimed acts got to be recognized for their elaborate approach of the music form; particularly, for understanding they can describe what form is while practicing it. This music vein has resisted flashy avant-garde productions with the exception of its urban acts, whose breaking of the form happens in an as-we-go manner, meaning within the songs themselves. Astro just jumps to it, arranging its musical landscape rather than aspiring to create one. Many see such choice as an easy or lazy handling of the picture, I’m just not a follower of the whole ‘know the rule first and then break it’, but even if I cared about Astro’s understanding of music I’d be very thrilled about these songs. Because when iTunes pops up, the window is in itself, a world of possibilities. Originality becomes second nature and therefore not so relevant, the songs are.
Artistry arrives with personal touch, with that layer of vision that’s in any case, unique. Yes, Astro sounds much like MGMT, Empire of the Sun, maybe even Passion Pit, but what an impressive and ambitious accomplishment. These songs feel like scanned sheets of music thrown into sonic space, pretentious pays off only when one shoots for glory. Just listen to “Raifilter” or “Ea Dem” and feel their massive appeal, they’re a blast and it’s a real treat that they’re so accessible. It’s however that apparent effortless flashy outlook what allows the band to be credible. I’ve spent much of this review shielding their songs but it’s hard not to embrace them, especially when one sees all the genres negotiated here at such close proximity.
While the songs are straightforward and easy to handle, it’s not a bad idea to play by its dynamics. All these pieces follow narrative, if you try to consume them on their abstract you’ll drown. Recognize its choices, like “Hongo Atomic” being thrown into gaudy land and surviving its own tricks, while “Le Golden Ballon” increasing vocal voltage and melodrama (for a purpose). “Maestro Distorsion” is the catchiest out of the bunch, it’s self-explosive and many of us will think of Juan Son’s vocals right away. The most inspired moment of the album lands with “Mono Tropical”, a mystic and baroque track so mesmerizing in and out of its monkey-alienistic creatures. Expect a hit or two from this, and if it’s not your cup of tea, at least recognize its access as a virtue, that’s enough to float on.