By Louie Durango, DJ Famous Warrior
Two Inch Astronaut’s latest album, Foulbrood is one loaded with infectious melody channeled through ferocious riffs and lyrical apathy. They apply the interchanging dynamic of loud vs. quiet in their music, which may bring to mind labelmates, Pile, or indie rock legends: Pixies. Unlike Pile however, they move through dynamism with more agile reflexes while giving 100% in precision. It’s amazing to see how the album was recorded by two members of the trio, giving the illusion that creating a full rhythmic album requires little to no effort.
You can feel the amount of energy that inhibits this album just by how quickly and incredibly song dynamic changes: “Dead White Boy” lurches and lumbers for 7 minutes before crumbling at the thought of the sudden death of that guy you went to high school with. “Type Four”, “No Feelings” and “Whole Crew” have some math rock tendencies, showcasing guitarist Sam Rosenberg’s versatility in technique by moving beyond grunge and post-hardcore riffs. One of the best parts about Foulbrood is the band’s ability to construct these riffs in the most melodic way possible. Whether it’s the album’s title track and its soaring chorus or the minor key stomp to “Part of Your Scene”, Two Inch Astronaut really know how to write an incredible hook.
The melodies in Foulbrood are also in debt to drummer Matt Gatwood’s techniques, which compliment Rosenberg’s guitar playing. Songs like “Cigarettes, Boys, and Movies” and “1, 2, Talk” contain clever combinations of kick drum/hi-hat fills recalling those of Sunny Day Real Estate or Fugazi. Whereas most bands use drums to keep track of song tempo, Gatwood goes above and beyond making his contribution a focal point to the album; similar to Jason Gercyz’s work in Here and Nowhere Else. The tight synchronization these dudes have is the sort of professionalism in performance that is difficult to attain and deserves to be focused on much more.
It’s no surprise seeing Two Inch Astronaut as part of the Exploding in Sound family since they strive to continue their stream of exceptional releases. WhileFoulbrood isn’t as original or innovative as some would expect, it is neither bland nor generic: it’s a genuine album. The band shows creative ability through their songwriting, making them a unique standout amongst other acts. Not to mention, they emulate their influences well enough without sounding like copycats. Similar to AM or Vacation Vinny, Foulbrood is a delicious taste of one of today’s most interesting scenes in independent music.