Christian from Dayton, Ohio's Astro Fang sent me his latest a couple weeks back on Rad Girlfriend Records, who seem to be purveyors of all things Dayton, a clearly overlooked American rock city. From the sound of things this one from Astro Fang is pounding a number of heavy rock sounds into a brand new composite.
"Flesh Hand" on the A-Side takes heavy burst chords intro right into a dark sinister bass groove with up front, direct vocals and a masochistic lyric about wanting "to smack me around with your flesh hand". It's a dirty post punk funk until the chorus breaks into hyper layers with what has to be some synth working around over the huge riffs, or some serious guitar effects. Going No Age with the amount of punk distortion chanting FLESH....HAND. The drums are taking a serious beating, this one taking a real synth punk direction at times, intent on working all these sections into ever louder punches. Working this main melody and it's evil intentions straight through a double time snare. Insane energy, pulling this heavy crafted ROCK into the modern age of neon synth. Like nothing I would ever have expected from this part of the country.
B-Side winds up "I.C.U." with warped synth/guitar tones on a warped reel to reel and a blown out off kilter guitar section comes on fast and heavy. The vocals...hell the cymbals are distorted this time, taking sheer joy in their ability to stop on a dime. A hard and heavy sort of Unicorns influenced sound in it's combination of weird elements and ever changing rhythms. Working in a severe post punk direction, the electronics are buried under this swath of overblown sound. It takes a new turn and a scuzzy guitar takes apart classic metal riffs and scatters them in new directions, the heavy riffs switching directions and executing half a measure of that hard blues sound. Going as far as those impressive prog solos for days, a resume for their next band al played through a few hundred riffs.
A rattling snare and a count off in the empty room leads to more disjointed abstract melodies, an operatic howl and it ends up sounding more like "I see you", than the place in the hospital.
A secret obvious message pressed in the gutter, on a couple colors and black with double sided collage sleeve. There's something weird going on in the heartland where your Rad Girlfriend in Dayton says:
ASTROFANG is the best rock band to come out of Dayton, Ohio since Guided By Voices. These songs combine rock n roll, punk, and weird spastic indie rock in a way that FUCKING RULES. I believe in them and so should you. Limited to 500 copies.