"The Great Wall of Sound" CD
Genres: instrumental rock, indie pop, indie rock
2/603 Nepean Hwy
Sep 30 - Oct 6 2002
are bit hard to put a tag on. While a few of the songs here feature
vocals ("Fifteen," "Guard Down"), most of this is
instrumental. What the band is striving to achieve is are sonic,
spacey, guitar-based sound textures, and for the most part, they seem
to have succeeded. Tracks like "The Moment Your Head Caves
In" are pleasant math-rock tunes, and while they occasionally
don't seem to amount to much, they are actually surprisingly relaxing.
The same goes with "Through This," which is a moody,
cinematic track that would go well with videos of people pondering
things. While many may find these instrumentals to be frivolous and
too insuccinct, others will appreciate the lengthy episodes of semi-droney
Also successful is the band's lesser focus, composing
non-instrumentals. While some of these suffer from being seemingly
unfocussed, much of it is catchy and nice, kind of in a
less-electronic Beta Band sort of way. "Guard Down,"
for example, is a delightfully infectious tune that flaunts a little Versus
influence, and the title-track is like a semi-successful math rock /
indie pop crossover.
This is, altogether, a strong album. While the band may be a bit
too ambitious for its own good, their music has the capabilities to
win over fans in their native Australia, and they will perhaps gain a
few here in North America. While lots of instrumental rock aims to be
emotional and driving, Astrotube instead opts for a more
restrained, relaxing atmosphere. Whether or not this style will appeal
to you is the deciding factor.
40 min 8 sec; 17 tracks; distributed by Tone