Astrid Strange Weather Lately (Fantastic Plastic)

SXSW Records

Record Reviews

Astrid

Strange Weather Lately (Fantastic Plastic)

The British press has heaped upon Astrid the highest praise one can on that cold and dreary island: They sound like summer. That cherished season in the UK is all about blue skies, pink people basking shirtless in parks, and music festivals dotting the countryside. The Astrid boys hail from the bleakest of Scottish islands, Lewis, where the peat fields (bogs, really) blanket the sunless terrain, and the scary religious folks infamously lock the children's swings on Sundays. Apparently, these childhood friends learned to create their own sunny weather with music before they escaped to the big city of Glasgow at seventeeen. A touch of the Zombies, Monkees, La's, and okay, even Travis, Astrid play that strummy sort of pop that the young, pert, and chirpy usually pull off for an album or two. Youth, of course, is great for sheer self-belief and tireless energy, but perhaps not so good for breaking new ground. Certainly they've added modern touches, but producer Edwyn Collins keeps them quite traditional. In the grand scheme of music, bands like this should resurface from time to time to make us jealous of youth and remind us of pop's purity. By way of youthful comparison, Astrid aren't as punk Ash was or as, well, fantabulous as Supergrass, but they do that thing they do, and we dig it this time around. (Thursday, Park Ave, 10pm)

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