Calling All Astronauts – Influences EP is available on iTunes.
by Walter Price
Do you remember when the floorboard of your rusty old beater was full of Bauhaus, Butthole Surfers, Chris and Cosey, and Front 242 cassettes sliding around? Yeah, it’s probably a generation thing, a post-punk era when angst filled youths were really digging deep into their own dark minds. Finding ways to escape the worlds John Hughes was trying to force on the masses.
Those worlds weren’t for you. You liked it hard and dark and there were no dayglo shoelaces in your atmospheres. And the goth and industrial scenes fit your needs…for awhile, anyway. Soon those communal scenes faded further into the underground and the realities that the real world was waiting and school and jobs had to be had. Life sucks.
But the music that soundtracked the early part of your young adult evolution may not have played a big part of older years, but it is still around. The artists may have changed and new ones have emerged. For example, London’s politically charged 3 pieces Calling All Astronauts are kicking it in modernized old-school.
Diversion. To be honest, I usually shy away from anything political. Who needs it, right? Careers, kids, sports, Netflix…the day fills up quickly and the news is already a terribly sad bore. Why would I want to sit around and hear someone else’s sonic public affairs thesis? maybe it’s just me…
Calling All Astronauts (David B, J. Browning, Paul McCrudden) are known for their blended sounds. Mixing all the familiar textures of the industrial, goth, post-punk, and electronic heyday, and yes, with a social message. Which is cool. But what is even cooler for my mind for nostalgia is their recent ‘Influences’ EP. Four tracks, covers, exploring what can be done with songs that rocked me, and maybe you, as a kiddo.
Taking on David Bowie, Deep Purple, T. Rex, and Gary Numan the band wrote about the project in a YouTube post, “Taken from our “Influences EP” a quadruple A-side single. We’ve done covers of four tracks that have influenced our love of music, each with its own video. It kicks off with a what has been described as a “Pendulumesque” version of Gary Numan’s “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” this is followed by a stripped back, dark, atmospheric version of T. Rex’s “Metal Guru”, next up is the David Bowie classic “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” and yes it’s more scary and more monsterous than the original we finish off with a Post Industrial version of Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water”, you could think this is madness or stupidity, don’t worry, they’ve given them all the full Calling All Astronauts treatment and claim them as our own.”
Speaking of the videos, they are mindbending films intertwining vintage footage of all sorts with other various dark and creepies. Creating trippy landscapes to already great reinterpreted tracks. Kinda makes me wish I still had an appetite for the hallucinogenic fare. Alas, I’ll just soberly hallucinate. If that is even a thing…
Even though I don’t have cassettes in my floorboards anymore, and I’m not always down with hearing someone else’s political thoughts, CAA is a brilliant band and this new EP of revamps is just the escape I needed in the this increasingly fucked up world.
CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS
Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
(Gary Numan / Tubeway Army)
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
Smoke On The Water
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