The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Fruit, Album Review

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The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Fruit
Small Giants
out October 27th

52/100
[Rating Scale]

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The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s undeniably catchy debut LP, Fruit lingers in the head with a horn-filled, psychedelic pop “who cares?” Whether channeling a spayed Gwen Stefani, a boring and cuddly Kathleen Hannna or a flaccid Billie Holiday, Mette Lindberg’s voice ranges from pleasantly poppy to gratingly shrill baby talk. Place this atop a consistent bed of repetitive mediocrity and the result is both a nice pop record — which many people will love — and a migraine waiting to happen.

Fruit is either a study in abrasion without interest, punk without drama or straight faced faux-soul pop, the likes of which Amy Winehouse (for whom the band opened while she was in Denmark) has been parading around in front of an oddly complicit audience for the last few years. Worse than Winehouse though, Lindberg seems to have nothing of note to say, no axe to grind, no lyrical backbone to speak of and a lesser sense of composition. The horns throughout the album are truly a nice touch, and the most interesting musical element of Fruit, but do not do enough to distinguish themselves from the squishy arrangements and undercooked organ parts that characterize the feel. Contrast this to the tight, big band horn hits found in Winehouse’s hits, and it is clear why one group was the opener and the other the headliner.

It also hurts that Linderg’s voice is significantly thinner than Amy Winehouse’s, even with the heaping helping of reverb given to her throughout the album. Song after song, the vocals dissolve into a repetitive baby-voiced hook that takes up more than half of every track. The whole album relies on hooks so much that pretty much everything else that could have been of interest is thrown away. Moods are not looked at from different angles, the arrangements barely shift, and while most tracks succeed in getting stuck in your head, they do so to taunt you more than anything else.

The groves seem dated, even by pop standards, stuck in the “modern” indie mold that we thankfully moved away from in the mid-aughts. There is the obligatory acoustic guitar pop track “Crazy” where the reverb borders on laughable, “Satellite” which takes the most boring, aimless side of Beck and delivers it with decent results, and the opening track “Lady Jesus” which might be the dumbest catchy song I have heard all year.

There are also some standout tracks, such as “Push the Envelope” (which doesn’t) and “The Golden Age,” but none—save the iPod approved “Around the Bend”—break from the mold of “find a feel, a hook, get to the hook, repeat hook, repeat hook more…lather, rinse, repeat.”

The result is poppy by grating, without message and fun in an utterly meaningless way. If you can make it through all 10 tracks without skipping out on one of the interminable hook repetitions and without polishing off a bottle of aspirin you are a better person than I. Fruit should have been an EP, should have shaved off some of the waste and marinated longer. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour clearly have a keen ear for hooks, but no idea what to do with them.

Stream the entire album on IMEEM

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