This post-punk group makes music that’s so moshable that I’ve almost gotten into car accidents from when they came up on my iPod– more than once. I wish I was joking. Their first two albums, “I Had Plans for Us” and “I Just Want to Make a Statement” are two of my favorite albums and rarer examples of how a studio album can capture the raw energy of a live concert.
“Dead Nostalgia” has just as much vocal thrashing and rampant guitar riffs that make the band so satisfying to listen to. But you get the general sense that the band takes their music a lot more seriously with their third effort. The riffs are more sophisticated and so are the lyrics.
With their previous two EP releases, the band has explored themes of feeling detached from societal expectations in manners that are typically smarter than your average punk/grunge track. With Dead Nostalgia, the band feels darker in tone. This coupled with the thrashing energy brought to each track makes the album somewhat more exhausting to listen to than previous records.
Throughout the band’s discography, the idea of partying, drinking and generally being promiscuous is presented as either a serious problem or a part of self-discovery. In Dead Nostalgia, that’s no different. In Vibrator, Richard sings “Electric buzz that fills you with drugs/ naked and then faking and growing up/ the fight aint the action we use to lust its new to us.”
The opening track, “Before Crimes” is one of the best Junior Astronomer songs to date, which is more of the band’s typically difficult to interpret lyrics but musically infectious chorus: “Drunk throwing up (I wanna hunt you down)/ Fashion and porn (has turned our imagination around).”
“Gimmicks” seems to describe an individual feeling fed up with being the token black friend. In it, singer Terrence Richard sings, “She tried to be open this once/ she said she had a lot of black friends/ I laughed and said I only have one/ she said I’m something much different.”
The band tours the U.S. sporadically, bringing incredibly consistent raw energy everywhere they go. Junior Astronomers is a relatively young band (forming in 2007) with the on-stage charisma of a group of veteran musicians. I highly recommend going back and listening to their first two albums before picking up their newest release. “Dead Nostalgia” is a welcomed step forward for an already awesome group.
Check out the band’s music video “Before Crime” right here: