Thanks to Jake Bissaro at Motif Magazine for this glowing review of our new record:
The Friction is the auspicious debut EP by 123 Astronaut. Some may know frontman Jeff Robbins from the well-regarded Boston band Orbit, active from the mid ‘90s to the early ‘00s. This stuff hits like a breath of fresh air, a kind of beefy power pop that’s like a mix of Matthew Sweet and the Smashing Pumpkins.
According to the band’s website, these tunes were written in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election as an attempt to make sense of it all in a positive way. I was skeptical. I’m generally not a fan of vaguely political, uplifting lyrics like “We are surrounded by the stars,” or “I am invincible.” But musical conditions on this planet are so good that even a crusty cynic like myself has to give mad props.
The Friction capably makes the case there really need be no more than 3 chords, and is boosted by great musical performances all round around, featuring Keith John Benjamin on bass and Eric Hastings on drums. The title track is a fuzzy, up-tempo rocker, and “Cheyenne” goes balls-to-the-wall. The horn section kicking in on an epic bridge on “Stars” is something I could listen to endlessly, and the more subdued “Weightless” is captivating in its own way.
This EP is highly recommended, and is hopefully just the first from these guys. Seriously, some of these tunes are so catchy, you may find yourself neglecting work duties to get a few extra listens in.