Punknews.org
Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (Cover Artwork)

Nada Surf

Nada Surf: The Stars Are Indifferent to AstronomyThe Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (2012)
Barsuk Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It must be weird sometimes to be in Nada Surf, if only because they still get judged by a song that becomes increasingly unrepresentative of their body of work. I'm referring, of course, to "Popular," from their pretty nifty grunge-esque record High/Low. I happen to like that song, even though it's .
iTunes StoreAmazon


It must be weird sometimes to be in Nada Surf, if only because they still get judged by a song that becomes increasingly unrepresentative of their body of work. I'm referring, of course, to "Popular," from their pretty nifty grunge-esque record High/Low. I happen to like that song, even though it's an anomaly of sorts compared to Nada Surf's releases from 2002's Let Go onward.

I mention this because my first impression of the group's latest record, The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy, was, "Yep, this sounds like Nada Surf." But it's not the Nada Surf non-fans would be familiar with. Stars is very much on par in quality and style with the group's other Barsuk releases. This is agreeable indie rock. It's not too dissonant, not too clean. Its surprises are minuscule in scope, but that's no big deal, because Nada Surf can be depended on for pleasant tunes.

The biggest little surprise of Stars is that the songs are actually kind of muscular in structure, at least compared to Lucky or The Weight is a Gift. Opening tracks "Clear Eye Clouded Mind" and "Waiting For Something" deliver a one-two punch of energetic playing and anthemic choruses. "Waiting For Something" is arguably one of the catchiest songs Nada Surf has ever written. The chorus is pretty simple--it's more or less just the title repeated four times--but frontman/guitarist Matthew Caws has such a warm, comforting singing voice that he sells it.

There are certainly softer tracks on the record that are more classically Nada Surfy, like "When I Was Young" and "Jules and Jim." The record tries to balance these two impulses, and while it does a decent job of waxing/waning, it never quite recaptures the energy of the first two songs. Still, tracks like "The Moon is Calling," originally heard last year on a Record Store Day single, pack some punch.

The record's second half picks up the pace somewhat. "Teenage Dreams" has some nice pep, "Looking Through" is the second catchiest song on the record" and "No Snow on the Mountain" packs some heft. "The Future" closes out the album with a note on getting older: "The future looks like a screen / And I cannot believe the future's happening to me." For a band that's been going 20 years now, I can see the relevance in that sentiment.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsSuperchunk - Majesty ShreddingRival Schools - PedalsThe Flatliners - CavalcadeFake Problems - Real Ghosts Caught on TapeFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesSamiam - TripsJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteTorche - Harmonicraft

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SilentStorms (January 28, 2012)

I got this yesterday, finally, thank god. Listened to it twice so far. Keeping in line with how I feel about their albums, this baby will need way more listens before I can really judge how good it is. So far I'm digging it though. The Moon is Calling is so fucking good.

Libra (January 27, 2012)

This band makes me think of Ween, except shitty.

Bryne (January 27, 2012)

One of the more consistent bands going right now.

blanktapesemptybottles (January 27, 2012)

the only thing is was missing was a little mixing it up like on lucky, otherwise phenomenal, some of the best lyrics of all time on here, how can you not relate to when I was young?

MN_DrNick (January 27, 2012)

True story: this is my first time checking out Nada Surf. This is really good.

Contests

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go