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Bring Us Together

For a little while after my last post, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I’d been listening to David Bowie’s Hunky Dory for awhile, and then I started listening to the rest of my Bowie collection, and I was worried I was going to have to write about David Bowie. I say worry because David Bowie is a musical god to me and I’m afraid anything I write couldn’t do justice to how much I appreciate his music.

And then I realized that the latest Asteroids Galaxy Tour album was out (and had been for about a month) and I downloaded that and have been listening to it pretty much nonstop! Whew!

So where do I begin? Okay. So, you know how The Beatles did a bunch of pot and then put out Rubber Soul and everyone was like WOOOAH! These guys were making good music before but now they are making ART!!! That is how I feel about AGT’s new album Bring Us Together. It shows such an amazing progression from their previous two albums (which were awesome in their own right) while not losing that certain-something that makes them so distinct. Also, maybe drugs were involved? Well, it kind of falls into the psychedelic category in any case. We’ll get to that later.

I would describe AGT’s first two albums as being out-of-control. I remember first listening to them and feeling like I was going to lose my mind because their music was bursting at the seams and bubbling over with gusto. They were in love with their own sound and it was not in a bad way, because they wanted so badly to share it so that others could love it as much as they did, and it was all just so enthusiastic you could help getting caught up in it.

With Bring Us Together, I feel like they’ve calmed themselves down quite a bit while still carrying their heads high. They’ve lost none of their pride – they’ve just honed it into a more precise sound. I no longer feel like I’m going to start screaming when their music comes on. (Screaming with joy, that is.) But I still feel it, whatever it is, and it makes me want to dance.

I don’t even know where to start with my favorite tracks. The whole album is just fantastic. There isn’t a dull track to be found. Right off the bat, I’d say my instant favorites are the title track “Bring Us Together” (which I wrote about previously) and “My Club,” the music video for which reminds me quite a lot of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” conceptually.

Musically, it reminds me a lot of “Major,” a track from their previous album Out of Frequency. I think it must be the horns, even though horns featured predominantly on a lot of their previous albums! Something else then. I don’t know, but I love the melody, the attitude, and the lyrics. It’s the best dance song on the album.

I also love “Navigator” which has some nu-disco influences and a catchy whistle tune. If this were the 70’s, one might describe the song as “groovy,” but it’s 2014, so let’s not and say we did. When you hear that bassline, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

“Choke It” is easily another one of my favorite tracks. It also seems to be unapologetically about drugs. Maybe? It gets pretty trippy at the end when Mette Lindburg starts singing about sugar trees and killer bees. They’re probably just having some fun and messing with the listener, but it still raises an eyebrow. It reminds me of the Robert Crumb drawing translated into music.

“Hurricane” is a fantastic track. I think this is where Mette Lindburg’s vocals shine the brightest. Her voice here shows the greatest amount of maturity. It’s so controlled. Don’t get me wrong, I loved how wild it was on the previous albums. But here, it’s like she’s crooning, and it’s just lovely.

I also love, love, LOVE “Zombies!” It reminds me a lot of “Suburban Space Invader.” I want to see a music video for this one. It would be a zombie dance party! That’s pretty much what’s going on in the song, by the way. I can already picture the homage to “Thriller.” I mean, come on, if you’re going to have zombies in your music video, you MUST have an homage to “Thriller.” “Clint Eastwood,” anyone? “Zombies” is just so much fun though!

If you’ve listened to AGT before, but haven’t had a chance to get to this album – what are you waiting for?! Get to it! This album is fantastic! I love it when you can hear an artist evolving to the next level. Bring Us Together just shows such great progression. They really did something new without losing their spirit or unique sound. It’s still very much AGT, but grown up. So, so good.

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Bring Us Together

I wasn’t expecting to write about The Asteroids Galaxy Tour again, but apparently this has been sitting around on YouTube for the past two weeks and I only just found out about it.

I have to say, while I’m a fan of the wild horns that dominated Out of Frequency, I am LOVING the piano in this new song! It’s got this sort of Motown vibe to it. It keeps the song anchored throughout AGT’s signature psychedelic-futuristic sound. It sounds like this might have been recorded live – unless they just recorded cheering from one of their concerts – so I’m hoping the sound doesn’t change too much when the album comes out. Some songs performed live have a tendency to that, and it can be good or bad…

AGT has always had this sort of hippie vibe to their sound, but I think here it’s most prominent, both in the sound and the lyrics. It sounds like we’re being delivered a message of love and peace and enlightenment by some patchouli-wearing alien through a haze of LSD. And then we wake up right next to Mette Lindberg! “I had this crazy dream, man.” “Yeah, me too!” And then she tells us all about it, or rather sings about it in that gorgeous lilting voice. (We’re still working our way through the LSD, of course.)

I’m looking forward to this new album. Like I said, I loved the horns SO MUCH, but I also love this new song so much, I don’t even notice their absence. The last song I can think of that featured a piano this prominently was “The Golden Age,” which I mentioned before is one of my all-time favorites. Though, it has a more playful sound, it serves the same purpose, that is being the song’s anchor. It works really well.

I can’t wait to hear more from AGT’s next album (also called Bring Us Together.) Uber-mellow yet trippy is a good combination for them. I’m gonna have to see these guys in concert!

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Fruit

I don’t remember what song it was that grabbed my attention, but I certainly remember the name of the band, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, grabbing my attention on its own. They were another last.fm discovery, and a spectacular one at that. They’ve only released two albums so far, but each one has a sound that just makes me lose my mind. It’s fantastic summer music. It knows how to be loud and big but not noisy in an unorganized way. It’s all very well-orchestrated, while teetering on the edge of losing control.

Fruit was their first album, and the first one I bought as well. The opening track, “Lady Jesus,” has this swagger to it that just sweeps you up and makes you want to rock your body. It’s not a loud track, like I described, BUT it still has that big, about-to-bubble-over sound to it. I really like it as an opening track. I also just really like the idea of a Lady Jesus.

Moving ahead to “Push the Envelope”…Here’s where things REALLY get loud. Singer Mette Lindberg knows how to wail and takes it to the extreme by the end of this track. She’s got a voice like a beast – It’s just wild.

“The Golden Age” is probably one of my favorite tracks out of both albums. It makes me think of LA summers – and not just because it’s about Hollywood. They played it a lot at Dodger Stadium last year, appropriately enough. It’s got a very retro sound to it too. The music video is also fun and weird, though it reminds me more of the 90’s than of the Golden Age of Hollywood. But it makes sense for their sound and style.

“Around the Bend” makes for a pretty good dance track. I can see this one playing at a summer backyard party. I feel myself bouncing along to it every time I listen to it. It’s got more of that swagger to it. It’s very jazzy.

“Hero” reminds me of a heat wave. It’s got this lazy, languishing sound to it. You know how the air above an asphalt road looks wavy on a really hot day? It’s like that. But aurally. Mette Lindberg’s voice matches it perfectly. She actually sounds kind of tired, but not in a bad way, just in a way that suits the song.

“Attack of the Ghost Riders” is the almost-closing track (I think I have a deluxe version though – the Wikipedia page lists “Bad Fever” as the final track and “Inner City Blues” as a bonus track, while this track is technically followed by a live version of “Lady Jesus”) and it’s weirdly wild and wildy weird. There’s this fantastic Tarzan-like high-pitched wailing going on in the background while Lindberg robotically repeats “Attack of the ghost riders.” It’s actually a little creepy.

Overall, you know who they remind me of? Smash Mouth. I think if you have nostalgia for Smash Mouth, but want something more current, you’d enjoy The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. And if you like Fruit, then you’ll definitely like their follow-up album Out of Frequency. If Fruit is a 10, then Out of Frequency kicks it up to 11. But I’ll save that one for another day.

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