REVIEW: God Is An Astronaut – ‘Origins’


Artist: God Is An Astronaut
Album: Origins
Genre: Alternative Rock, Post Rock, Instrumental Rock
Label: Rocket Girl

Most instrumental acts focus on production; examine Daft Punk’s records and the point is variation, clever little melodies intertwining and evolving from the first time they appear to the fifth time they appear. Most post rock bands focus on dynamic changes; Godspeed You! Black Emperor sweeping over fifteen minute tour-de-forces and Explosions in the Sky writing little rock symphonies. God Is An Astronaut is not like these bands. God Is An Astronaut is more like Mogwai: these are songs, not instrumentals… just, most of them don’t have any singing. And that’s what makes this so hard to verbalize in a review.

On Origins, God is An Astronaut has continued their streak of strong, consistent albums focusing on instrumental songs. If Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts interests you, or Mogwai’s Come On, Die Young, then this album is for you.

The twelve track entity has no filler, no fluff, no excess; the songs are concise and short so that nothing drags on repetitively. The vocals here really are straight out of Come On, Die Young or Happy Songs For Happy People: they never appear cleanly, always buzzing in and out under a slew of effects that make the singer sound like he’s underwater or in the clouds. But that’s a good thing: this album is for people who listen to The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die taunting them “You will never go to space,” and letting them respond back with “I am going to space.” This album is going to space.

That said, there appears to be the underlying formula of verse-chorus-etc that every rock band follows; its instrumental usage and great production keep things fresh, but it isn’t outright broken often enough so that nothing gets tired. This album is a majestic thing to listen to with headphones, alone, with the lights off at night (and also, probably super fun to smoke weed to with friends, but I can’t verify that firsthand), it must also be said that while the layers of synth and keyboards combined with the unusual vocals keep things fresh, things can drag on. You won’t be listening to it over and over endlessly.

But if you’re a post rock fan, if you’re a fan of good riffs and great production, if you’re a fan of bands that break the mold even as they play by the rules, Origins is just as good as every other God Is An Astronaut album. It’s a must have for any fans, and a fine starter piece for those who don’t already own the catalog.

Score: 7.5/10
Review by: Dan Bogosian (Twitter)

Dan Bogosian

I finished school with a music theory degree. Before I finished school, I was a janitor. You really should apologize to all the janitors you've ever had. You hurt them. Seriously. You did.

But, now that we've cleared that up and you called your high school janitor, know that I quit being a janitor to pursue writing about music. So here I am, and here you are, and hey how are you?
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  • boyka

    Awesome album, one of their best.