steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"For Boating" CD

Helmet Room

Genre: pop, country-pop

Denver, CO

Dec 2, 2008

Spacious, moody pop music is the name of the game for Denver’s Astrophagus, one of the lovely Helmet Room label’s signature acts. This wonderfully designed digipak, which intuitively opens from the left instead of the right, houses a sprawling and unique record infused with Talk Talk-esque haze and noir, Graves influenced personal pop, and Pinetop Three’s moody twang-blues. Chiming piano chords and a dark tension fuel curiously straight-faced “Why I Cut Off My Hands,” making it one of the record’s stronger tracks. Also recommended are the noir blues of “Feast Day” and the death waltz of “Ruiner”. Miserable “Buena Vista Park” and drudgy “For Boating” weigh the record down a bit, but it is atmospheric instrumentals “Honda Prelude” and extended shoegaze epic “Do You Have 3 Settings?” that save the record by fostering a dark and profoundly pretty atmosphere. For Boating is a strange pop album, characterized by dark and slow-moving songs and often tinged with a slight country twang. Although a few of the songs fail to take off, the majority of this record is a joy to experience.

astrophagus' myspace


youuuuuuuutube!: "buena vista park" video

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]