Brooklyn post-rock trio Blasteroid are ready to blast your faces off with their debut Pretty Good EP (which, we can confirm, is pretty darn good). Today, we’re premiering the EP, which you can hop over to bandcamp to buy/stream to your heart’s desire. They’re playing a release show tomorrow at Aviv, plus they’re opening our gigantic Bernie Sanders punk benefit concert next Thursday at The Gateway! The Pretty Good EP deals with issues that resonate with us all: dying alone on a mountain top, the smell of Troy’s truck, and animals falling in love. It was recorded at Tarquin Studios by Peter Katis and Greg Giorgio (Kurt Vile, The National, Jonsi) and in various apartments by Troy and the gang. Troy mixed the record before cold emailing Greg Saunier of Deerhoof to ask if he would master it (he agreed). Now, let’s get down to brass tacks.
The first track, “Artie and the Mountain,” begins with an ambient film-esque introduction with swirling synth pads and muffled spoken-word vocals (think Ricky Eat Acid) of which I approve of very much. Then we’re treated to a very reverb-y vocal hook (“evil empire of the snow”) before the super heavy fuzzed-out guitar and bass riff enters the mix. This introductory track displays a very important talent for any young rock group: the ability to play loudly, then quietly, then loudly again with extreme control and poise.
Stole your blankets ‘cuz I’m cold
Filled with magic, sky’ll burst
As my fingers turn to dirt
“Oaf” is a somewhat more sing-song-y number with a playful back-and-forth verse (unison guitar and vocal melody) and a very spacey chorus section complete with delay and delightfully boomy drum textures. Structurally, it’s not super complex (the usual A/B thing), but in terms of texture and harmony it’s very consistently interesting. Even when the band is singing something as simple as “ba ba, ba ba, ba ba ba ba ba ba” it’s a captivating affair. I would have preferred a tiny more ambient effect over the super-meaty single-note minute-long guitar solo that ends the track, but hey, it’s not my record, is it?
“Heater” is the song y’all have probably heard before. Stylistically, it isn’t too different from the rest of the EP, so I won’t spend much time on it, but I will remark that the music video shows the coy personality of Blasteroid’s band members, not to mention the prowess of the people who made the video (I love this left-field stuff). For a comparison I didn’t expect to be making, a lot of the super-heavy guitar parts with high-range vocal layering in “Heater” remind me strongly of Mew. “Wet Dog” is a song I remember vividly from seeing these dudes live at Elvis Guesthouse a few months ago, and it also features the extreme contrast between loud fuzzy riffs and quiet reverb-y plinking rhythms. This one strikes a weird medium between American emo tropes and classic psychedelic post-rock face-blasting riffage, which, all things considered, is a not-bad way to characterize the band.
The EP closes out with “No TV for B,” a very clicky and delicate number that reins in your conflicted feels just so it can throw them where it pleases. It feels pretty cohesive that the album ends with a guitar solo, though I guess on the next record I’ll be keeping my eyebrow raised if more than half of the songs end that way. Hehe. As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I like this record and think you should buy it. ~