Wednesday, 4 July 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Astrosoniq, "Big Ideas Dare Imagination"

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 02/06/2018
Label: Van Records

“Big Ideas Dare Imagination” DD//LP track listing:

1). King
2). The Great Escape
3). Mindless
5). Vision Factor
6). Freezen

The Review:

A year ago, Astrosoniq lost a close friend and sometimes band mate. His name was Bidi. He was a guy who clearly made an impact on the heavy rock scene of The Netherlands and beyond. As a tribute to their fallen brother, Astrosoniq took to the studio and made this, their new album, “Big Ideas Dare Imagination.” The band brought in many friends to participate in the making, writing and performing of this album. It’s a group effort. It’s an album the band and their surrounding community needed to make.

Astrosoniq has been around for quite some time. The amount of recognition that they’ve received for their work is arguably underrated. Albums such as “Made in Oss (technically an EP), “Son of A.P. Lady” and my personal favorite, “Speeder People” are incredibly adventurous. These albums push the borders of every genre in existence – yes, even that one – and they make it work. Doomy jazz with a country twang? The Wizards of Oss master it.

Surprisingly enough, this new album is not as adventurous as the band is known to be. Each song on here is a rock song- sometimes metal, sometimes stoner – but the adventure factor is missing. The experimentation can be heard when it comes to song structures and the addition of a saxophone, for example, but the wild ride Astrosoniq is known to offer just isn't here. For me, as a fan of the band, this took some getting used to.

So I wondered - does the passing of a friend call for a wild adventure? The slow, weirdo hook of opening track “King,” certainly doesn’t think so. It makes its point just fine. The rolling bass and passionate vocals of “The Great Escape” also see no reason to fly off the handle. It’s a sturdy song, just as the straight up rockers of “Mindless” and “Keppra!” are pretty cool songs. Album closer, “Freezen,” is the weirdest and most refreshing track, even if it is just leaning on 1 idea the whole time. So the songs are good. But where does this album fit in the Astrosoniq discography?

I’m left with mixed emotions here. Astrosoniq have made an album that’s close to their hearts. That’s obvious. The passion, courage and heartfelt emotion are certainly present in these 6 tracks. Involving guest musicians was a good move. Bidi made an impression on many people, so it’s a no-brainer to involve these people when making a tribute to the guy. At the end of the day, though, “BIDI” doesn’t gel as an album. Each song very much stands on its own, almost to the point that “BIDI” sounds like 6 songs made by 6 bands. However, considering the context of the album, this isn’t a critique in the slightest. This is the album that Astrosoniq needed to make. This is the adventure Astrosoniq needed to take. The listener will just have to approach these songs with an open mind.

“Big Ideas Dare Imagination” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook