Origins by God Is An Astronaut

November 30, 2013

God Is An Astronaut are onto their seventh album with ‘Origins’. They were formed in 2002 by the Kinsella twins, and have released material on their own label (although Origins is on Rocket Girl), racked up plenty of fans and scored plenty of plays on streaming sites. Just getting to seven is a milestone, but that of course doesn’t guarantee it’s a good LP. What it does mean is this review has the extra dimension: less ‘is the new album any good’, more ‘have the band started flagging?’

You get twelve tracks on Origins, and we’re going to call them instrumentals. There is a vocal, but it’s been so heavily processed as to count as another instrument. The key tools of modern rock are present, but synths and plenty of other sounds are thrown into a mix which creates multi layered and multi textured tunes. We’re not going to pigeonhole the band as post-rock, as there’s too much of a pop mentality, and what we really have our starscapes rather than landscapes, because the sci-fi element of God being an astronaut (a name derived from Clive Barker’s Nightbreed) is throughout, particularly in track names and general feeling. However, the most contentious part of the album is that vocal instrument, which had been twisted into the sound of a robot from an eighties childhood. It stops the album from being doomy or portentous, which some may not like, and adds a light element. It’s an acquired taste, Kanye’s auto-tune reflected back from the reaches of space.

Overall, in Origins GIAA bring together music from a wide range of sub genres, mix it all together, and thickly layer a slice of astro rock. It’s music for thinking expansive thoughts, driving somewhere new, or a movie featuring tripods, rather than getting depressed as with several of their famous peers. As to whether they’re flagging, no, and the move to a five piece hasn’t affected their equilibrium.

7.5 / 10

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