Astral - Sleepwalker Release Date: March 25th, 2008
Record Label: Vibraphone Records
Californian shoegazers that take the genre's dense and mysterious aesthetics to a new and exciting place by implementing Dave Han's sometimes whispery, sometimes shouty vocals and impatient yet sparkly instrumentation that hinges on recording process which was done entirely with an 8-track analog tape.
How Is It?
For the most part -- wonderful. Like every album, it has it's dull and uninspired points. With any shoegaze album, a band runs the risk of completely ostracizing the listener when they're attempting to overwhelm them with the majesty and melancholy of washed-out guitars and bass fuzz. There's a few of those moments here in Sleepwalker, but the band never dwells overly long in any instance. Except for the title-track closer, every song stays under five minutes and Astral make the most of their time by exploring some pretty creative ways of taking the traditional non-confrontational shoegaze tactic and making it a little more scrappy.