The Asteroid No. 4 have returned for their 10th full length album, and it’s a vibrant reminder of why they’re one of the undisputed kings of hard acid rock.
Entirely self-created and self-produced by the band, Northern Songs is a dizzying brew of day-glow psychedelic rock, new wave sheen and gothic shoegaze that’ll leave you feeling doubly dosed.
Tracks like “All Mixed Up” and “Hand Grenade” swarm with otherworldly vocals, flanged-treated guitars and an utterly rabid rhythm. Listening to the energy and attitude in these songs, a fresh listener could assume this was a new band with maybe just one or two records under its belt. This is just further proof that The Asteroid No. 4 aren’t slowing down any time soon.
Elsewhere on the record, the band embraces their power-pop side on the jangly Byrdsian “I Don’t Care” and “Stardust” (which also bears hints of Opal and early Dream Syndicate) while “Paint it Green” echoes the triumphant new wave synth-scapes of David Bowie’s “Heroes.”
However, if you’re just in need of a solid shoegaze nugget that you can slam on repeat as you coast off on a long drive, then go no further than the fried “No One Weeps,” which smolders like a Spacemen 3/White Hills jam session. Unhinged guitar solos and sinister riffs abound in this track, while the band sings chilling harmonies, sounding positively possessed. Tight, but wild, this is a track you won’t be forgetting any time soon.
For slick psych-rock with a strong focus on songwriting (and a good amount of grit and darkness woven in), Northern Songs is a damn fine trip that anyone should take.