Thursday, September 27, 2012

REVIEW: Cancel the Astronauts - Animal Love Match

Sometimes what initially draws me to a band can be as simple as an evident sense of humor.  Such is the case with Edinburgh's Cancel the Astronauts.  I first tracked them down a few years ago after noting the song title "I am The President of Your Fan Club and Last Night I Followed You Home".  After all, whose interest wouldn't be attracted by a tale of stalking by a fan?  A world famous music blogger certainly sympathizes, I assure you.  But while I may have come because of the humor, I stayed with them for the music.  Cancel the Astronauts specializes in energetic indie rock anthems, and after honing their craft on two Eps, they have released a delightful 12-track debut LP, Animal Love Match.

Packed with hooks, furious pace, driving beat and swooping vocals, without losing the wry, and frankly sinister, take on melancholy, lust, desire and the travails of young life -- this is an album that will boost your mood on any fall day.  The title track begins the album with sombre keys, but less than a minute and a half in, the sound builds and the boys take off.  The second track is the fine former single, "Seven Vices --

"Intervention", the third track, is s sparkling new wave tune showcasing the bands fine melodic sense --

I find it somewhat difficult to tag this album with a genre (that sound you hear may be a collective sigh of relief from the band), but I do know this: Animal Love Match is indie guitar rock that you can dance to, drive to, and (when used safely and according to directions) enhance your mood.  The more stately numbers are fine (check out "Love Backwards" at the Soundcloud link below), but what these lads do best is to play hard and fast.  And fortunately, the fast songs dominate the track list for the album.

Here is one of my favorites, "Making Dynamite".  It is somewhat less of a pop tune than "Seven Vices" and "Intervention", and it and the following track, "Lekking", showcase the band's ability to craft a fine song at less than a punk pace --

I would feel remiss if I didn't share one of the slower tracks with you, and the penultimate track, "Catch You If I Can" is my choice.  It is a really lovely song with a piano and a bit of acoustic guitar --

Cancel the Astronauts are Matt Riley, Kieran McCaffrey, Michael Craig, Neil Davidson,  and Chris Kay.  They have been together for about four years.  Animal Love Match can be streamed in its entirety at the Bandcamp and Soundcloud links below, and purchased via Bandcamp.

Twitter ( @canceltheastros )

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