Arising from the ashes of local combos OceanFall, Third Harvest and Stoned Messiah, this five piece from the beautiful orchard county of Armagh have wasted no team in launching their debut four-track EP – clocking in at just shy of a mammoth 27 minutes (fuck, that’s longer than some albums!).
At just three and a half minutes, the title track is the shortest and (not surprisingly) punchiest. Built over a swirling riff, it is the perfect introduction to the combo’s doomy stoner groove, setting the scene for the lengthier offerings to come (every one of the next three songs is more than twice the length of the opener!) with its fuck heavy dirtiness.
‘Behold’ is like a heavier Cult, most notably in Thomas Mallon’s vocals, while Stephen Todd’s excellent drumming is pleasingly high in the mix, adding a different dimension to the track’s driving, pounding feel. ‘G.U.P.I.’ is the most overtly political track on the EP, with its samples of speeches about the economic crisis: again, there is a very Cult feel to it, but it has an epic sweep that draws the listener deeper and deeper into it’s darkened heart.
As does closer ‘Live For Nothing’ which, despite clocking in a 8.5 minutes, keeps the attention throughout, with its multiple layers and hypnotic quality.
• To find out more about Astralnaut, visit
• You can listen to, and download, ‘Back To The Bog’ here: http://astralnaut.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-the-bog-ep
• Astralnaut play The Premier Bar in Lurgan, with support from Kashis and Emerald Hill, this Friday (May 25), and Katy Daly’s in Belfast, supporting War Iron and Comply Or Die, on Saturday June 9 (http://www.facebook.com/events/295776170513085/). Look out for PM’s review of the latter show.