CD Reviews – The Asteroid #4: Hail to the Clear Figurines
Hail to the Clear Figurines is the sixth album from Philadelphia quintet The Asteroid #4. It starts out with one of the more boisterous tracks, “Wicked Wire”, which employs heavily distorted instruments, but as the album progresses, the sounds start to clean up more. The best way to describe The Asteroid #4’s music would probably be psychedelic folk-rock. Clean electric and acoustic guitars dominate the album, and reverb-soaked vocal harmonies give the sound a very spaced-out feel. Some of the rougher distorted sounds do work their way back into songs further into the album, though, and careful listeners will also find a slight hint of a country/Western flair to some of the guitar playing as well. These spacey-cowboy songs amalgamate into highly catchy and singable songs with strong hooks and atmospheric instrumentation. The vocals aren’t particularly up-front in the mix; paired with the heavy use of reverb on the vocals, this sometimes makes them feel washed-out. However, this doesn’t mean that the vocals are drowned out by the other instruments; rather, the other instruments rather create a massive sonic landscape that utilizes instruments like harps and mandolins for the vocals to weave in and out of.