steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Thank God For Astronauts

Self-Titled 7"

Best Friends Records

Genres: indie pop, indie rock, "wimp rock"

Best Friends
PO Box 48214
Denver, CO 80204

Oct 28 - Nov 3 2002

In case you aren't aware, Thank God For Astronauts recently changed their name from Kudzu Towers, and are now releasing their debut 7" under their new moniker. And although the label, Best Friends Records, calls itself the "source for underground wimp rock," there is nothing wimpy about this record, which boasts four great tracks.

The first track, "Keen on Idleness," is the perfect soundtrack to a happy roadtrip with all of your friends. It's very poppy, but also has a great rockin' feeling to it, and features a definite New Pornographers influence. Beware, because it's melody has the catchiness to get itself stuck in your head for days.

"Shovel in a Basement," is a similarly peppy track, except with a stronger focus on the bass guitar. It is very reminiscent of early Apples In Stereo material, especially their old four-track recordings. The song's vocals sound like a cross between those of The Apples' Robert Schneider and the rocking voice of Atombombpocketknife's Justin Sinkovich (oddly enough!).

"Petty And Wise," which starts off side b, is an exciting tune that will get your head bobbing and your lips moving into a bizarre semi-circle shape. It's got a great, sugar-sweet chorus that makes for perfect humming material. Any indie pop fan would be happy with it... hey, the holdays are coming up...

The record ends with "Counting All Your Stars," a somewhat dreamy tune that also boasts a strong early-Apples influence. Though it is less peppy than the other songs, it still fits in perfectly, and serves to add depth to the record.

Thank God For Astronauts could slip seamlessly onto the spinART roster, and fans of the label will doubtlessly sense this. Indie pop fan or not, though, I strongly advise you go out and get this record, as you'll be supporting a wonderful band that definitely deserves it. And rest assured, if you do decide to give TGFA a shot, they will quickly become a permanent staple on your turntable.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 4 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]