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Review: 'We Could be Astronauts'
'We Could be Astronauts'   

-  Album: 'We Could be Astronauts'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '12th October 2012'-  Catalogue No: 'WCBACD001'

Our Rating:
So much contemporary rock simply doesn’t rock. Rock in the new millennium hasn’t only become stale and weaker than a teetotaller’s piss, but seems overly concerned with conforming to stereotypes, with the haircuts, tattoos and clothes bands sport as predictable as the bland, overproduced formulaic angst-by-numbers they dribble out feebly, not wanting to sound too loud or angry for fear of disappointing mummy and daddy. Small wonder there’s a vast audience out there craving some proper rock action in the old style, and consequently, small wonder acts like Black Spiders have been attracting legions of fans with their Zeppelin and Sabbath-influenced brand of rock ‘n’ roll. After all, you don’t have to be Black Label Society to be a real rock band: working with the trappings of seventies riffage doesn’t have to be corny, you know.

We Could be Astronauts, then, are surely prime candidates for a rapid ascension to dizzy heights where a market starved of proper rock is concerned. Taking the old-school template and adding a contemporary twist – think the squalling guitar assault of Filter or the megariffage of Queens of the Stone Age – they’re the antidote to what Kerrang! pass off as ‘rock’ these days. They may have taken a while to unveil this, their debut album, but they’ve hardly been idling in the two and a bit years since their formation, having built themselves an enviable following locally, as well as lugging their riffs – and amps – up and down the country and earning themselves a slot on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the P ark.

While it would be all too easy to focus on the inclusion of former Seahorses bassist Stuart Fletcher in the band’s lineup, to do so would miss the point: We Could be Astronauts are an entirely different beast, and what’s more, they’re a unit, as the twin guitars attest . Nagging lead motifs and the occasional blistering solo are underpinned by chunky riffs and a thunderous rhythm section. Robert Loxley Hughes weaves articulate lyrics – not your standard rock clichés – in a voice matured by JD and Marlboro.

Live favourites ‘The Volunteer’, ‘The Catastrophist’, ‘Fucked Up, Corroded, Broke Down, Exploded’ and the improbably titled ‘Look Frank, It’s a Toaster’ are all present and correct and done justice, but from the slow fade and lift-off of the intro ‘“Astronauts Report: It Feels Good”’ to its counterpart, book-ending outro ‘“Astronauts Report...’”, it feels like a proper album rather than simply a collection of songs. The result is a solid and dynamic debut that’s not so much atmospheric as stratospheric.

We Could be Astronauts Online
  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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We Could be Astronauts - We Could be Astronauts