There are a few things you need to know up front about Anders
Anders used to be in a band called Varnaline. They were very
good. Now they may be broken up, which is sad. He was also in Space
Needle a long time ago.
Anders is signed to John Agnello's Baryon Records label. John
mixes Anders' music. That's why it sounds so good.
The Wounded Astronaut EP is the follow up to 2004's Tell
It To The Dust.
Anders plays almost all of the instruments on his recordings, and
sings most of the lyrics.
Anders is good friends with Richard Buckner and Jay Farrar.
Both of them play on his records. Need I say more?
The Wounded Astronaut EP is six songs of blissful sonic semi-alt-country
gloriousness. Anders Parker has continued to develop as a songwriter
and grow his talent as a musician over the past few years, leaping
forward from the relative low-tech and crunchy approaches of early
Varnaline. The songs have become more focused, and attained a sense
of character more akin to post-Crazy Horse Neil Young than
that of any thick indie rock. Jay Farrar's influenced is felt keenly
on these songs, each of them having a similarly lilting feel that
much of Jay Farrar's music attained after the dissolution of the original
Son Volt line-up.
"The Wounded Astronaut" is a thickly sonic rock dirge brimming
with dynamics and beauty. Anders' vocals are at once delicate and
powerful, coalescing all of the fantastic guitar parts and excellent
drumming into a cohesive whole. Even if the rest of this song were
not utterly amazing, the tremolo guitars are well worth the experience.
"Come Off" settles back into a more Varnaline fashion, relying
more on distorted guitars and throbbing drumlines for its power. "Everyone
Will Shine" is a low-beat ambient track full of atmospheric densities
and gently unsettling vocals. The guitars of "I Found You"
are brilliantly wrought at the hands of Jay Farrar, as he takes some
of the vocal chores as well, cementing the strong ties between himself
and Parker. The song sounds incredibly Farrar-esque, while retaining
a sense of continuity among the rest of Parker's compositions. "Fast
And True" builds on a solid acoustic guitar base, building into
what could be considered the second indie rock masterpiece of the
EP. The story is masterfully shaped amidst the searing guitars and
amazing lyrical imagery that Parker has proven he is so capable of.
"The Smile" wraps the EP in a pleasant mid-tempo fashion,
very reminiscent of tracks from Sebastopol. The song is quick
and full, leaving nothing short of amazement in its path. Thick guitars
and solid drumming underscore the brilliant poetry of Anders Parker
as he weaves a psalmist's tale of duplicity.
There are very few records that come along that feature four or so
solid songs that become a necessity to be heard by the music-buying
public. On The Wounded Astronaut EP, Anders Parker not only
creates some memorable and beautiful songs, but each one is a true
musical gem. Buy this EP. But Tell It To The Dust. Go see Anders
play live when he comes to your town. You owe it to yourself to hear
the best that modern music has to offer.
1. The Wounded Astronaut
2. Come Off
3. Everyone Will Shine
4. I Found You
5. Fast And True
6. The Smile
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