Astronoid – Air

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Blood Music
Released: 2016

AstronoidBand line-up:

Brett Boland – vocals, guitar
Daniel Schwartz – bass
Casey Aylward – guitar
Matt St. Jean – drums
Mike DeMelia – guitar


1. Incandescent
2. Up and Atom
3. Resin
4. Violence
5. Homesick
6. Tin Foil Hats
7. Air
8. Obsolete
9. Trail of Sulfur


I can only imagine it happened like this. A load of musicians – an indy singer, an 80s rock guitarist, a black metal drummer etc – all booked a practice space and accidentally turned up at the same time.*

“Sorry mate, I booked this”

“No, I booked it and I was here first”

“Well I’ve already got my kit set up”

“Fuck it, fancy a jam?”

“Yeah, alright”

And from this Astronoid was born.*

“Astronoid is a five-piece band from Boston, MA with influences ranging from Devin Townsend and Mew to Alcest and Cynic.” This is how the band describes itself.

Everything about this band I find clever. They have clever lyrics, names, chords, dynamics… I could go on. They are a composed almost entirely of paradoxes. The music is serene and yet frenetic, calming and yet aggressive, accessible and yet esoteric.

I was walking to work listening to the album and enjoying the slow, tense opening to ‘Incandescent’ with it’s gentle glissandos and delicate bass drone and then it bursts in with big chords and I thought I knew exactly where it was heading. Then the tonality changes, as does the mood when after three minutes the vocals come in. I was shocked. This is such a soft sweet voice, it shouldn’t match the fairly hard rocky guitars and metal double peddling, but it does. It’s bonkers, but brilliant.

I genuinely like each and every track, but ‘Tin Foil Hats’ and ‘Air’ are probably my two favourites, however that changes with each listen. Every one is different and includes patches of super fast guitar and drum work along with melodies that are sentimental and absorbing.

This is definitely not going to be music for everyone, and I think that’s a shame; I think I may get a bit evangelical about them. What really put the cherry on the top for me was having a look through their Facebook page when under ‘Band Interests’ they put only “Write beautiful music”. Well chaps, I think you’ve succeeded.

*For the easily confused – I just made this up. I have no idea how they all met.

Review by Bob Davidson
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