Two Inch Astronaut – Dead White Boy (Stream)

by Steven Spoerl

2ia

A few notheworthy full-lengths emerged over the course of this week’s closing stretch. Two of the finest, Vagabon’s Persian Garden and VVHILE’s More, barely registered as blips on most site’s radars. Both stand as a very strong testament to the increasingly powerful (and ever-expanding) DIY punk scene and are well worth quite a few listens- and quite a bit of investment. Even with both of those records absolutely stacked with noterworthy songs, Two Inch Astronaut‘s third look at Foulbrood– following the title track and “Part of Your Scene“- managed to stand out.

It’s difficult to imagine Foulbrood not being heralded as one of the year’s best records around the time of its release. A case could be made for a little over half of the songs on the record being in the ranks of the year’s finest. “Dead White Boy”, in its nearly eight minute sprawl, is one of those songs. One of the record’s most definitive songs, it brings in cues from post-hardcore, math, shoegaze, and post-punk to create something deceptively subtle and naturally hypnotic. Teeming with restless lyrics that delve into some of the uncertainties of mortality, it’s one of the band’s most successful lyrical outings as well as one of their most arresting musically.

Veering from passage to passage, “Dead White Boy” also manages to succeed in terms of narrative-worthy dynamics. Alternately visceral and beautiful, it’s a unique entry in the band’s catalog and expertly taps into a somber mood that’s entirely new for Two Inch Astronaut and a surprisingly good look for a band hell-bent on remaining unpredictable. From the gorgeous falsettos in a sea of murky chaos to the unexpectedly jarring ending to the delicate bridge, there are no false notes here- not even the ones approaching atonality. Guitars surge, vocals soar, the bass courses, and the drums are next-level (all of which is par for the course for an Exploding in Sound-approved band but taken to extremes here). Everything clicks into place to create one of Two Inch Astronaut’s most engaging tapestries to date- and this is still only a hint of what Foulbrood has to offer.

Listen to “Dead White Boy” below and pre-order Foulbrood on Two Inch Astronaut’s bandcamp.