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God Is An Astronaut - The End Of The Beginning CD (album) cover

THE END OF THE BEGINNING

God Is An Astronaut

 

Post Rock/Math rock

2.99 | 39 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars Formed in the idyllically named Glen of the Downs which exists just south of the Irish capital city of Dublin, the post-rock band GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT was formed in 2002 by twin brothers. Niels and Torsten Kinsella took the band's name from a quote in the movie "Nightbreed." Before these bros joined up with Lloyd Hanney on the second album "All Is Violent, All Is Bright," GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT was only a duo with Torsten on guitars, keyboards, drum programming and vocals while Niels handled bass, more guitars and yet more keyboards. The debut album THE END OF THE BEGINNING emerged shortly after the band's inception in 2002 and the title is supposedly comes from a famous Winston Churchill speech.

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT has become a fairly well known post-rock band since the mid-2000s but in the beginning the band sounded a lot different. THE END OF THE BEGINNING firmly sits in the post-rock camp but at this point these guys were a bit eclectic with many layers of space rock, shoegaze inspired walls of sound and more trip hop and downtempo chilled out percussive beats. While many post-rock albums can sound rather monotonous as they tend to be quite lengthy, THE END OF THE BEGINNING is quite diverse in the tones, timbres, dynamics and tempos. The most notable part about this debut release is how thick the atmospheres are with a tapestry of synthesizer layers.

While the title track and following "Lost Symphony" and "Twilight" are rather mellowed out, the track "Fall From The Stars" on the other hand sounds more like a early U2 post-punk track which just happened to fall in love with the atmospheric textures of 70s Krautrock and progressive electronic as heard from Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze. While post-rock generally strives to create some ethereal astral plane of sound, THE END OF THE BEGINNING stays within the confines of a general rock paradigm. Not that there are choruses and verses but the bass grooves and guitar riffs are much more traditional rock than post-rock but overall the album comes off as some sort of electronic album that incorporates some rock instrumentation much like the space rock of Ozric Tentacles without the hyperactivity.

Tracks like "Coda" seem like they stray out of post-rock altogether with funky bass grooves and melodic call and response synthesized layers of sound with processed lyrics reminding me of artists like the French band Air. Same goes for "Route 666." While the album starts out fairly interesting it suffers the same fate as many post-rock albums and becomes monotonous 3/4 of the way through. Add to that the trip hop beats get tiresome after a while and tracks like "Coda" only prove that the duo could've thrown a little more creativity into the mix. All in all, this is a decent debut but hardly stands out as one of the most essential moments in post-rock history. GOD may be AN ASTRONAUT but clearly needs a little more space travel before true cosmic inspiration sets in. As a trio GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT would take on a more traditional post-rock style but on this one it's fairly unique. I just wish it was a bit more creative.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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