steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"The Great Wall of Sound" CD


Genres: instrumental rock, indie pop, indie rock

2/603 Nepean Hwy
Bonbeach, 3196
Victoria, Australia

Sep 30 - Oct 6 2002

Astrotube 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 guitars.

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.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 40 min 8 sec; 17 tracks; distributed by Tone Vendor; released 2002]