Asteroid No. 4
Kicking off with a slow, murmuring drone, Honeyspot initially recalls the space-y art-school garage rock of Asteroid No. 4’s former albums. But it soon enough becomes evident that the band is on to something completely different this time around. The cosmic folk music of Gram Parsons and the Buffalo Springfield was in evidence already on 2001’s King Richard’s Collectibles. However, on this release, the band embraces those influences to the full. And Asteroid No. 4 certainly know the music they’re referencing. The band knows its way around a good tune, and their playing remains passionate yet coolly detached throughout. The overall impression is of a bunch of urban hipsters playing rustic folk music, outlaw-style, which is sort of how Gram Parsons came off sounding anyway.
However, in pretending that the 35 years since 1968 never happened, the Asteroid No. 4 completely undermines the validity of its own music. What Asteroid No. 4 do is in some ways similar to what, say, Fruit Bats and Holopaw are doing. However, those bands bring a modern insistence to their music, never denying their cultural presence. The Asteroid No. 4, on the other hand, seem to ignore their own cultural mindset altogether. It seems silly criticizing a band for being too good at what they do, but that’s exactly the reason why Honeyspot fails to engage on the same level as their previous albums have. The music is still full of beautiful moments, but in their struggle to recreate the music of another time, Asteroid No. 4 have completely abandoned their own, personal past. It’s ironic that for all their claims of authenticity and realness in music, that’s precisely the thing that seems to be missing from this album. And without it, there really isn’t much of interest left here.
Asteroid No. 4: http://www.asteroidno4.com/