The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Out of Frequency
The idea of a horn and drum Danish pop throwback with electronic elements might terrify even the most open-minded of music fans. Honestly, horns/brass are sounds are simply not the key to my musical heart, so on The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s 2009 debut, Fruit, I was pleasantly surprised with enjoyment I gathered from the augmentation of horns to the overall sound. Being introduced to a band by an iPod touch (“The Sun Ain’t Shining No More”) commercial and an episode of Gossip Girl featuring several of their songs (including my personal favorite, “Hero”) is not an ideal musical introduction, but apparently not damning either. While not a complete success, Fruit resulted in The Asteroids Galaxy Tour sticking in my mind, and more importantly a couple songs sticking on my playlist. So, the release of their sophomore effort, Out of Frequency, came with some mild expectations, but expectations nonetheless.
To cut to the chase, I was left quite cold by Out of Frequency. I was not expecting any kind of pop perfection, but it just appears on some tracks the band is trying to be a little too avant-garde; trying to fuse too many sounds into something cohesive. Particularly obnoxious is constantly repeating the three-word chorus on “Fantasy Friend Forever”, to a jumble of uncomplimentary noise. On songs like the aforementioned and “When It Comes To Us”, there are some interesting vocals to be extracted, but it is almost as if these songs have been tinkered with in post-production than a Michael Bay movie.
Not only are there problems of over-production, but the hooks lack any hook for the most part. There is probably not a track that has a chance in hell of being catchy enough to even warrant consideration for an Apple commercial (which is admittedly a high standard), or even an episode of Gossip Girl (also a pretty high standard, since the show is meant for 13 year old girls). The lone exception would be “Heart Attack”, which has a fun, albeit really dumb (it starts off with “Geeze, Louise”), chorus.
While “Heart Attack” may provide the best chance for a little radio play, the real strength of Out of Frequency lies in a few tracks near the end of the album: “Mafia”, “Ghost In My Head”, and “Suburban Space Invader”. The less convoluted arrangements sounds allows vocalist Mette Lindberg to shine without all the distractions. Of particular note is “Suburban Space Invader”, which seems like a peculiar ode to Speaking in Tongues-era Talking Heads. This track also allows Lindberg to use a little more range and deliver an interesting curiosity.
Unfortunately, nothing can save Out of Frequency from its rampant overindulgence. I recommend you check out a few tracks, but the album as a whole is kind of a mess.
Can’t Miss: “Ghost In My Head”, “Heart Attack”, “Suburban Space Invader”,
Can’t Hit: “Fantasy Friend Forever”, “When It Comes To Us”, “Dollars In The Night”