Bad Astronaut


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With keyboards and pianos driving their songs into the land of pop, Bad Astronaut, fronted by Joey Cape of Lagwagon, parts ways with their California punk peers and crafts a more Weezer-esque brand of sugary melancholia. Expect a blurring of genres that the band lays out explicitly in their liner notes by crediting their inspirations: Radiohead, Elton John, Bad Religion, and Iron Maiden to name a few. Whereas "Quiet" is pure piano pop and their cover of "500 Miles" is given the straight-up punk rock treatment, songs like "Grey Suits" excel by combining the two and even throwing in a metal solo for good measure. The result is a rocking sound with crunchy guitars that are underscored by a churning, organic keyboard groove. Bad Astronaut has produced a space for themselves that is equal parts sneer and heart strings. Here punk riffs ("Greg's Estate"), sci-fi effects ("Logan's Run"), and even a rollicking cover of Elliott Smith's "Needle in the Hay" sit perfectly side by side for a listening experience that equals pure enjoyment.

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