The Aliens Astronomy For Dogs Review

Released 2007.  

BBC Review

If Syd Barrett had recovered around 1972 and rejoined Pink Floyd 'Dark Side Of The...

Brian McCluskey 2007

This album is a 6 Music album of the day

This album has been a long time coming. In the mid-nineties ''Dry The Rain'', a classic song written by head Alien, Gordon Anderson, helped his former group The Beta Band to get signed. However mental illness meant that Gordon's term with them was a short one and while he retreated home to recuperate and record beautiful, fractured, music under the alias of The Lone Pigeon, his former colleagues spluttered onwards never quite achieving the success that they deserved. Now, a decade later, a fighting fit Anderson is reunited with former colleagues Robin Jones and John McLean. Can they succeed where the Betas failed?

The short answer is maybe. Astronomy For Dogs is bursting with life but with enough of a melancholy heart to prevent The Aliens from sounding like a novelty band. In other places however, things are a bit indulgent.

Tracks such as ''Robot Man'' and ''Only Waiting'' will be familiar to people who have heard their remarkable debut ep Alienoid Starmonica but new songs like the garage punk thrash of ''Setting Son'' and the achingly lovely ''She Don’t Love Me Know More'' show a band with a serious range. Put these alongside ''Rox'', which sounds like Screamadelica-era Primal Scream and ''I Am Unknown'', a wide eyed psychedelic monster, and you have something like a classic on your hands. If only the album stopped there.

Unfortunately things take a downwards blip towards the end. Glover is distinctly unmemorable and ''Honest Again'' hovers worryingly close to the realms of pastiche, although if soft rock power ballads are up your street then you'll love it. Things pick up when last year's brilliantly stupid single ''The Happy Song'' appears and all is just just about forgiven until ''Caravan'' starts up and meanders tediously on for twelve hellish minutes.

Not a perfect album then, but it's a perfect insight into the plainly fizzing brain of Gordon Anderson. If Syd Barrett had recovered around 1972 and rejoined Pink Floyd, Dark Side Of The Moon would have probably sounded just like this.

Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you choose to use this review on your site please link back to this page.