Sunday, October 15, 2006

Flashback: Astroladies

Sometimes you just need to revist the past, so we are going to repost some of the things that we did before anybody read this site. These are posts about bands that we feel strongly about. This is a post from August 29.

There are some bands that you just cannot get out of your head. Recently, there was a band that found me on myspace. We started talking and became penpals. Now, things will never be the same. Before I even touch on their music or cd, I have to talk about them and their amazing backstory. This story is so unbelievable, that it has to be true.

Astroladies are an indie band located in Belgium. According to their official bio, they are a four piece comprised of "a half Congolese computer freak, a nearly blind Italian guitar player who is about as tall as his pedalboard is long, a monomaniac Belgian voice and a Vespa freak on drums."

According to Vincent, their sound "originates from poverty rather than intention". He says that "Frederik plays a second hand Roland Juno 106 and if he's lucky his Casio SK-1 will join in, until it breaks down... again! I play the cheapest guitar I could find, an Ibanez Jetking II. The computer that we use for live shows exploded a couple weeks ago and the entire band is technically unemployed."

They are "about as unsigned as one can be." They are trying to promote their album and receive some positive attention so that future releases can be on a proper label and have actual distribution. They are trying to play as much as possible, but are having problems finding gigs and airplay in their own country without a proper label or promotion. Vincent said, "we did our first gig in a psychiatric hospital. The crowd 'liked' us so much that we had to hide backstage. We got paid with ice cream on that occasion." He also told me that they would love to come play in America, but they would "probably have to sell some of their vital organs to make that happen."

How is the music, you ask? Well, Neon Tokyo is absolutely brilliant. If you didn't know their back story, you never would have guessed it. This does not sound like an album that was recorded in those conditions with such poor instrumentation. I have received a lot of low budget recordings, but I have never heard one that sounds this professionally done. I have played this for friends who are not in to this type of music and they all have said that while it is not their thing, it sounds really good.

I was trying to figure out how to describe their sound. The best that I could come up with is a combination of early Depeche Mode, very early New Order and Auchtung Baby era U2. The guitars on some of the tracks are what remind me of U2. Neon Tokyo, Meet Me At The OC8, Swallows and The Management Has Failed 2day are all really good songs. In all honesty, I never fast forwarded through any of the 11 songs, which is very rare for my short attention span. They have a lot of talent and a sense of desperation. That combination is what makes them a good band.

I am going to post a few of their tracks. It was hard for me to pick a couple to post, because there are so many different sides to their sound. If you would like to hear more, become their friend. They also have some videos and a remix available there. If you like their music, please support them. In the states, you can purchase their album on iTunes.

Finally, post a comment or shoot me an email. I would love to hear what you think about these guys.

Astroladies - Neon Tokyo
Astroladies - Meet Me At The OC8
Astroladies - The Management Has Failed 2day


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