Review: Bad Astronaut – "Houston, We Have A Drinking Problem"

(By Guest Author Josh McFly)
members of lagwagon, ataris, sugarcult
Honest Don’s

4 tamales out of 5 tamales

Houston We Have a Drinking problem, the third effort (2001 – Acrophobe, 2001 – War of the Worlds/Armchair Martian split) from the Santa Barbara born Bad Astronaut, mixes the flawless precision of Lagwagon, the pop appeal of Sugarcult, and the emotionally driven pace of the Ataris together perfectly (the band includes members of all three); thanks to the unblemished production run by the well respected Angus Cooke. Because of the success of 2001’s Acrophobe, this 14 track record was long awaited, being put off for months at a time.

The album starts with a short buildup, introducing Joey Cape’s (lagwagon) hook laden, but suprisingly dismal vocals, “Houston we don’t understand.. the rescues launched are incomplete..”, setting the overall musical and lyrical tone for the rest of the 13 tracks ahead. The second track ‘Clear Cutting’ clears the dark clouds left from the powerful 4 minutes of the first track (these days), than moving along to the third track’s (Single) upbeat synth-driven pop, with the noticeable influence of the members’ punk rock pasts. Each song on the record moves along in relation to the others while still keeping their own unique sound, put together creating a tasty, tasty treat.

Overall, it’s everything an album should be. For those who aren’t tickled pretty by clean, digitally recorded and produced music, this may not be the album for you (in all respect), but for others, its undeniably good produced and written music, inside and out.