Music News

New Ancient Astronauts

Given the difficulty of making disparate musical elements cohere, it's no wonder that most bands stick to a single style. Indeed, acts that can pull off the difficult mission of genre-blending are few and far between, which only makes the New Ancient Astronauts' accomplishment that much more impressive. The various styles on Children of the Vortex, which is being launched with a CD-release party on Thursday, November 18, at the Bluebird Theater, have about as much in common as Dick Cheney and Howard Dean, yet they work together better than anyone has a right to expect.

The rock the Astronauts use as the foundation for their tunes comes in many different sizes, shapes and textures. Throughout "Marvin," for instance, bandmates Aaron Daring, Professor Derek Confessor, Kasey, Lani Milbus and Dr. Minotaur juxtapose speedy metal riffs with a long middle section in which the guitars slow down to Tony Iommi tempo, whereas "Voyager I," which immediately follows, rides to the stratosphere on synthesizers and saxophones. "Recognizer," meanwhile, moves from hard rock to art rock to who-knows-what-kinda rock in three and a half thrilling minutes.

The Astronauts discover a universe of possibilities within the Vortex. It's a trip well worth taking.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts