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Terrior Bute
Return To The Astro Castle
Vicious Pop Records
www.viciouspoprecords.com


A new wave band with punk aspirations or a punk band that got the wrong instruments for Christmas? It doesn't matter. I expect big things from these kids; ruddy-faced with youth, they can't have been working at this for very long. But, they've turned in an energetic and amazing gamer-punk-wave album that sounds almost like a memory trip through the old MIDI worlds of Capcom, Nintendo, Atari and other video game soundtracks from the late '80s and early '90s. And yes, that's a compliment. A great many unsung composers ground out the compelling soundtracks of my youth, all from behind the veil of corporate obscurity.

And they look like they're sixteen. (An article from last year said they were still in high school). Already, their ability to map out songs from start to finish, some with epic structures, is a thing to behold. Everything about the album screamed "casually thrown together" when I received it, but at its roots, down in the melody, you'll see that the scope and breadth of their music is capable of progressing well beyond the modest scale of Return to the Astro Castle. If the only thing of value to be found in here were "Big Lou", that would be well enough. It's the star track in here, with its brilliant Moog interlude between movements, it slapped me hard in the face and said "Oh yeah? Well listen to this, motherfucker!" And dutifully captive, I did just as I was told.

Heh. "Discovering" bands like this is what makes my job worthwhile; like pulling a gem out from the mud, whether by accident or providence, it is the find that matters most; more than the prize.

So there it is; the spoil of the toil. Are you going to grab it and run?

Or are you going to just stand there?

-JD

Track Listing:
1. Little Albert
2. So Go Go Go
3. Bumps in the Night
4. Pressing Buttons
5. Big Lou
6. Suffice to Say
7. I'm a Manican
8. Party Song


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Mike Doughty



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