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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] Astron
Fly the 'Delta' Skies: On its new CD, 'Delta,' Astron rides the astral plains.

Space Cowboys:
Astron flies high on its new album, 'Delta'

HOUSTON, we have a problem. It appears Neil Armstrong has spiked the crew's Tang, and now they are flying directly into the sun while headbanging to the new Astron disc, Delta. For those of you unfamiliar with the Astron way of life, here's a blurb from the band: "In life, some people must be political activists, some must be teachers and some must lay bricks. Astron must rock."

These interplanetary songs boast thick hooks and big toe-tapping melodies that go together like a taqueria and a televised soccer game. The winner of best song of the year by technical knockout goes to the aggro "Fight." Next time somebody says something about your mother wearing combat boots and a G.B.H. shirt, you have a beast of a riff with which to defend her honor.

Chris delivers some Cyclopean drumming, while Charger's soulful Urge Overkill-like vocals are perfectly heartfelt on "Caesar's Ghost." Just like Wilt Chamberlain's "You'll never get any if you don't try" philosophy of courting, Astron unleashes a whole gamut of scoring chances that do not go unrewarded. Danny and Charger's Champs-like guitars on "Nightmare Alley" sound like glorious, seizure-mad stallions. Ryan's intricate bass on "The Silence That Is Evil" produces low-end sounds that are the open sesames to a demented plain. Nice twisted Pixie-like surf leads and key changes on "Hang Ten Billion." Noah, that old dude from the Bible, fearing mutiny from his fickle crew, bought two of these CDs for his ark, and it's been smooth sailing every since.

This is a great record. Contact [email protected].

War Talks

Featuring stage names like Cadaver Cleaver and Sadistic Jane plus a headless honcho on the cover, the gore of the Stalin's War demo tape had my comrades in stitches. It must be reassuring to the band to know that a career in professional wrestling is always around the corner. Stalin's War slithers around pissed-off pop punk a la young Naked Aggression and adds some nice nails-on-the-chalkboard female vocals.

Cadaver Cleaver's guitar grinds out some chunky power-chord samples and mixes in some melodically chimey leads on "Forcive Decision." The simple Simon Says "whoa" backing vocals give each song an old-school cognac flavor.

Fat Hank's drumming is devoted to a 78rpm rhythm, and a date with carpal tunnel seems imminent. Cruella's sturdy bass lines on "Soldier's Last Stand" will make gutter punks everywhere strip off their camouflage army pants and get jiggy with each other. Sadistic Jane's pipes are plagued with indecisiveness on "Customer Service," but the 976-PAIN dynamics on "Unfuck Yourself" are dynamite. The Brit accents on "Patiently Waiting" are sung with more sass than any McCartney jingle.

Stalin's War shows a lot of promise and should warm up any Russian winter. This demo just goes to show that you don't have to go to an expensive recording studio to make decent music--the only requirement is that you have a lot of heart.


On Thursday, April 29, Astron and Robot God play the Aptos Club. On Friday, the Muggs, the Sudsmen and the Red Barrons play Skinny's, while Las Munecas and Roy Tinsel take on UCSC's Stevenson College.
Matt Koumaras

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From the April 28-May 5, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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