Voyager One

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Voyager One

Monster Zero (Loveless) The label, Loveless, is the first clue. If that doesn't do it, spacecraft reference should suffice. It's space rock, alright, and yes, the My Bloody Valentine reference is apt, although the Anglophilic brogue of Voyager One vocalist Jeramy Koepping sounds like he hitched aboard the Ride. On cuts like "Wires" and "Ready. Reset," pounding basslines emerge from a stew of otherworldly effects and distortion, flattening everything and everybody in the way. Lead cut "Out in the Marketplace" and the title track feature in-your-face drum loops, the former taking a backseat to sample-heavy ear candy as the latter marches along in fits and starts, accompanied by muted trumpet wails. "Three Pair" is the album's most melodic cut, Koepping evoking the Catherine Wheel's Rob Dickinson behind an incessant drum beat while the shimmering guitars form a swirling cocoon à la Austin's 7% Solution. Even the (inevitable?) Echo & the Bunnymen cover "Bedbugs and Ballyhoo" blends seamlessly into the forward-moving sound world that is Monster Zero. By the time the last notes of the warm, pastoral dreamscape "Tokyoidaho" dissipate into the ether, it's obvious that this Seattle endeavor has staked its claim to the high throne of American space rock. (Spill, Thursday, March 13, 9pm)

***.5

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