Release Date: Sep 16, 2013
Record label: Rocketgirl
No stony detachment. No grim introversion. No possessive secrecy. God is an Astronaut is intimacy. 'The Last March' is the warmth of another body against your own, a gentle breath through your hair.. God is an Astronaut is senseless frustration and placid acceptance. 'Calistoga' is the reason that ….
With a name like God Is an Astronaut, the Irish post-rock quintet clearly prides itself on prophetic undertones and meditative ambiance. Indeed, few—if any—of their genre peers are able to capture emotion and quandary with such polish and simplistic depth (a perfectly suited oxymoron, I assure you), creating music that speaks volumes about the human condition without ever feeling self-indulgent or overblown. On their seventh LP, Origins, the group once again exceeds expectations.
Post-rock as a genre relies heavily on formulae and structure. For a style so bent on hurling into cavernous abyss and frantic spine-tingling arenas of sound, there really is a lot of strict order – you may not necessarily expect a timbre so unforgiving to be constrained to a set of conventions, but they’re there. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Rós, 65daysofstatic and Mogwai all rely on rigidity and laws to ensure a specific tone is achieved; there are copious dramatic fantasy/sci-fi soundscapes, waves of pedal board FX and that almighty crescendo where everything simply explodes – silence is often the catalyst.
Review Summary: God is an Astronaut introduce yet another pleasant, albeit unremarkable album to their passable discography. After spending a good bit of time away from music, as both a critic and consumer, it struck me as surprising how easy it was to slide right into Origins. The latest from the Irish post-rock band God is and Astronaut is about as straight-laced and unassuming as they come; a by the numbers album that has no hurdles to overcome yet is comfortingly inviting in its accessibility.