Call it genius or call it nonsense, Aspera (who have
now dropped "Ad Astra" from their name) will at
the very least get a reaction out of you. Built around layers
of synthesizers, reverbed guitar, and mutilated drums, Birds
Fly is a difficult thing to describe. The follow-up to
the full-length Sugared and Feathered, the band's latest
is the next step in an oddball psychedelic journey these guys
have been on for quite some time.
The biggest problem here is the time you are given to digest
these bizarre constructions. Not one of the seven tracks (one
of which is unlisted) lasts for more than three minutes. With
this sort of bizarre, wandering music, you expect to travel
through peaks and valleys that eventually lead you to something
that makes sense of it all, but that fails to be the case
here. Every song pulls its head back into its shell just when
you expect a huge climax or brilliant revelation. This tends
to leave out the essential pieces, and prevents the songs
from every really solidifying and making any sense. With this
sort of psychedelic space rock, you expect to hear more, and
when you don't, it all just feels rushed and unfinished.
From the eerie carnival keyboards of the opening title track,
right through to the hidden track that is little more than
noise, Aspera keeps you scratching your head. Unlike psychedelic
pop acts (Flaming Lips being the easiest comparison)
that blend wispier elements with a firm pop grounding, Aspera
is so far out there, it remains difficult to decipher what
the band is trying to pull off. Actual songwriting does not
seem to exist, replaced my hums and drones that begin to pull
you out into the atmosphere, just before stopping short and
letting you fall back to the ground with a crash.
1. Birds Fly
2. Heaven's On Your Right Side
3. Mean Dog's Grin
4. The Ground and Sky Look Dry
5. Sometimes I'm Not Around
6. Unlisted Track
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