The Astroglides – Channel Surfing With… / 19 Tracks / 2003 Fast Music / http://www.astroglides.com / http://www.fastmusic.co.il / Reviewed 29 March 2004
Throughout the years, probably since the beginning of my magazines, I have been receiving releases by The Astroglides, Israel’s premiere surf-punk band. Also throughout the years, I have noticed a definite increase of both the recording and musical quality of The Astroglides songs, which means by the time I get a new Astroglides album in my hands, I am quite excited. Again instrumental, the lyrics are non-existent, but are really in the rich elocution of the instruments, whether it be the vocal qualities of the surf-guitar (Kabbalah Fucker, a prior track that was added onto this disc) or the complete flip-mode that the band does on “Tropically Disturbed”, adding a double-vocal attack in Shirley’s xylophone and The Baron J’s didgeridoo. The country stomp of the follow-up track, “Crusin’ Down Menahem Begin Blvd.”, gives the band a more edgy feel, as if they came right off a marathon session of all of the Dead Kennedys albums.
“Channel Surfing With…” goes back much more quickly than one would imagine a surf-rock album to be. The driving force of the guitar riffs in a track like “Nervous Man in a $4 Room”, along with the fist-pumping drums, make the already short time allotted to each track even shorter. The nice addition to “Channel Surfing With…” are the wordless-vocals, vocals as an instrument, that are first shown in “Tropically Disturbed”, but really come into direct contact with an excellent brass section in “Gunslinger 406 Malfunction”. The otherworldly entrance to “2003 Horsepower”, with whistling and outer-space noises, mixes well with the Outlaws-esque horse gallop of guitars and drums and Nirvana-esque breakdowns.
“Channel Surfing With…” is an album that can be put on repeat; each song is rich enough to withstand many listening due to the amount of layers that each and every track has. With The Astroglides, the quality on songs have improved, the recording has improved, hell – even the packaging for the CD has improved. A band can really show their worth when an individual can come away from their album able to speak more about the nuances of each song than about songs on an album that are filled with the most insightful lyrics, and The Astroglides do that with “Channel Surfing With...”. Keep an eye on this band, for while they may not ever make it big in the traditional sense, they will definitely continue to make solid music now and in the years to come.
Top Tracks: “Nervous Man in a $4 Room”, “2003 Horsepower”