Music News

New Ancient Astronauts

The opening salvo of Astronautilus, New Ancient Astronauts' second long-player, is the bombastic and campy "Catasteroid." Who else but maybe Blue Öyster Cult could take the idea of a gigantic asteroid about to hit the earth and end all life on the planet as we know it and not only welcome it, but celebrate the possibility in song? Plus, the unspoken cleverness of taking lines from Being There and then writing a spacey surf-rock instrumental called "Peter Sellers" — that's just genius, the ultimate nerd inside joke. Musically, the Astronauts opt for heavy psychedelia akin to the evil vibe pioneered by Helios Creed and his old band Chrome, and employ the saxophone — which is often misplaced in the context of rock — to highlight the sheer audaciousness and ridiculousness of the material. Too weird to fit into metal and too heavy to fit in with the more traditional psych bands, New Ancient Astronauts have released a refreshingly powerful record brimming with imagination and innovation.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.