Astroid Boys have been bouncing around the scene for a long, long time. They’re a band that split opinion straight down the middle – some love them, some hate them – but, one thing is for sure; they know how to get people talking about them.
The Cardiff boys have spent the majority of their career concentrating on playing live shows instead of releasing material. However, the day that they have an album to their name is finally here, and it doesn’t disappoint.
If you’ve ever heard Astroid Boys, you know exactly what you’re in for, and album opener ‘Cheque’ is literally just that. It’s a song straight out of the band’s “How To Guide” of rock-tinged grime. It encapsulates what the band is all about, and boy does it sound good. Rappers Traxx and Benji bounce off one another with so much ease that the flow to the song just feels effortless. It’s a solid opener that sets the foundation of a record that follows suit, although perhaps a little too similar.
There are a few stand out tracks that stray from the path, such as the riff-filled ‘Razz’ and the absolute crushing ‘Dirt’, both of which are definite highlights.
‘Razz’ shows the band at their most polished, and pushes the instrumental side of their music to the front foot. ‘Dirt’ comes right out of the highest calibre, and could easily be a track from the likes of Turnstile or Power Trip. However, the Cardiffians manage to put their own signature trademark on it, which blends like line between grime and hardcore so, so well.
Unfortunately, apart from a few tracks that really stand out from the pack, the record really feels rather samey and long-winded. Aside from the record’s lead single, ‘Foreigners’, which echoes many of the younger generation’s views of Conservative Ideologies, lyrically the album isn’t special and, at best, rather forgettable.
It’s clear that years of playing live shows has had a very heavy influence on the record, and the band will be reaping the benefits on tours to come. However, having nailed that part of their sound, and believe me they have absolutely nailed it, perhaps the band should be looking to evolve and expand to something slightly less predictable.
With that being said, ‘Broke’ is a very enjoyable listen, and all you need to do is look at the fanbase that the band have to realise that they’re doing a lot of things right.
Astroid Boys have caught on in the UK in a huge sense, and after listening to ‘Broke’ you’ll find yourself thinking that it’s only a matter of time before this catches on elsewhere in the world. Could Astroid Boys be the poster boys for a shift in the global mainstream market? Only time will tell.
Written by Jacob Eynon (@itsjustjake93)