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The Asteroid No.4: The Asteroid No.4

The San Francisco band sure to meteor psych-rock needs

Since their conception in 1998, The Asteroid No.4 have taken their far-out formula to myriad places, playing shows with pals The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Sonically they’re a bold bunch, so their sound has devolved in some less expected directions. For album number eight they returned to California in pursuit of countrified acoustics, distorted shoegaze and Ravi Shankar-esque Eastern trips. Elements from their whole career, essentially, in one progressive, far, far away hit – pretty and catchy one minute, woozily bewildering the next. Cue sitars, space rock and blasts of Jesus And Mary Chain-evoking power. But what’s interesting is how they remain very freaky, with a thread of solid, melodic Americana. You could almost be listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival or Fleetwood Mac in the acoustic strums and pretty twangs of The River. Heavier fuzz draws heady, uptempo numbers like Back Of Your Mind into shoegaze territory, and in Mount Meru, a cacophony of Eastern resonation and indecipherable chants leaves you with the feeling you’ve just found the Hare Krishna tent at some very beardy festival. Do not operate heavy machinery afterwards.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.