2: Resident Alien by Spacehog (Week of 10/2/11)

Let me start by explaining the numbering, I number each post to show chronology; but also include the week the album was reviewed to show the seperate chronology of the reviews. This is so that you as readers can choose whatever path (but with some optional guidance). Anyways, this album was a larger release than I anticipated starting with, but I chose it cause of some exciting news I learned today.

Released in ’95, Download/CD

Certified Gold

Do you remember Spacehog? I do, and they asked me how I even knew who they where (cause of my age). Interesting facts, both girls from the cover of Spacehog’s “Chinese Album, The” and the pink haired one from “Lazy Town” are older than I am (I’m 18 at the time of writing this). Anyways… the news is that Spacehog as completed their new album (their first release in 10 years) a release date has not been confirmed.

Anyways, back to “Resident Alien” and more about the band. Spacehog was a product of the 90’s, long after bands such as Camper Van Beethoven, R.E.M. and XTC had laid the foundation of college rock which by the 90’s had become defined under the new label of “Alternative”. This explains about half of Spacehog’s sound, but ignores the larger contribution that “Glam Rock” made to help define their sound. I really do feel a strong David Bowie influence in this album. but at the same time it’s not a cheep knock off of any certian band, which many bands have made a comfortable living doing so (cough cough creed, sublime with rome, owl city, cough). I think a great example of Bowie influence was the hit single “In the Meantime”. As a single, it’s a great song that exploded in popularity due to the right time and right place. Keep in mind this was a time when Bowie wasn’t the constant chart topper he was in the 80’s and that for all intensive purposes, Glam Rock was dead. The flowing bass line is reminiscent Bowie’s “Golden Years”; its constant, flowing, interesting, keeps time and plays with the guitar at times but isn’t an identical copy or just playing roots.

The album as a whole takes after this bass line, it flows and feels like the complete package. It’s space, that’s what it sounds like, the awesomeness of space but not in a cheesy 80’s way, but in a Doctor Who space is fucking cool way (do you like all those high quality musical terms?). I really don’t feel like something is missing when I listen to the entire album, it feels like one complete session and not a collection of rarities or b sides. Even the hidden track at the end of “To Be a Millionaire…. Was It Likely” is spaced out with enough science to keep it from feeling as if it doesn’t belong. I do think it was slowly becoming rarer in the 90’s to find an actual album and not a collection of single put together randomly (which is now the trend, actual albums are now rare). That is something that really bothers me, why does the new format of music no longer being vinyl or CDs make it so the whole product doesn’t fucking matter anymore; Does it not make more sense to make a complete package, to entice buyers to get the whole product and not just the singles? Anyways….

As a live performer, Spacehog defiantly puts on a show. Now keep in mind I saw them in Columbus, 2010, nine years after their break up and they fucking rocked it. The guys as a whole have a great on stage chemistry, they’re funny, like to talk at all the right times and don’t go on unnecessary rants that are unrelated to their music. I went in not knowing much about them, then becoming obsessed with their music. It really does speak volumes about a band that they can captivate those not familiar with their entire catalogue. They played all the big hits and many from all three albums without anything sounding unrehearsed or forgotten, sounding just as inviting and awesome as the original albums. They don’t sound like they where gone for the 7 years (they started playing together again in 2008 after breaking up in 2001).

setlist

The setlist from the night I saw them, I wasn’t quick enough to grab it

Now onto the new stuff, Spacehog has posted three new songs on their myspace page that are presumed to be from the new album, they do sound slightly different, but I still enjoy them. It’s still Spacehog, it still rocks and I like what I’ve heard so far. Maybe it speaks to some new maturity that Ray might have gained from having a child and going through the divorce process, who knows. Like I said, they’ve only released 3 tracks thru myspace.

“Regret what I said to you, I can’t stop thinking of how you cried, You’re probably drinking tomorrow you’ll lie, I know myself, It’s something that I can’t control”

Try – God lives Underwater

P.S. God Lives Underwater opened up for Spacehog, but where kicked off the tour, rumor is that Spacehog got fed up with a lot people leaving after GLU’s set…

Photo credits: The cover of “Resident Alien” is used under the fair use doctrine; As part of the packaging, it is needed to identify the audio recording, which is being commented apron there for not making it copy right infringement. The pictures of Spacehog and their setlist where taken by me and must have permission for me to reuse in any form that is not fair use

~ by Christian T on 10/03/2011.

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