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EP REVIEW: Jumpship Astronaut - Lights Burn Out
By Cyrus Rhodes - 01/13/2014 - 03:31 PM EST

Artist: Jumpship Astronaut
Album: Lights Burn Out
Label: Spectra Records
Genre: Ambient, Experimental, Ethno-Ambient, Electro
Sounds Like: XTC, The Fixx, They Might Be Giants, Weezer, Modest Mouse
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Something to Outrun, Kaleidoscopes
Weakness: Winded Songs, More solo segments
CD Review: Oklahoma City based 4 piece band known as Jumpship Astronaut just released their latest EP entitled  Lights Burn Out In 2013.  Jumpship Astronaut is Ryan Bryant on lead vocals and guitar, Chris Bourland managing the synths, Scott Dunn on bass as well as aiding with the synths, and Kris Davis on drums.

The EP quickly kicks things off with intoxicating “Romanticize” a pulsating intro piece that dishes out solid low end rock groove, with driving rhythms against dynamic groove and infectious vocals and phrasing from lead singer Bryant. This first track makes a solid first impression delivering a catchy melody and impressive vocal accents. Track 2 “Something to Outrun” serves-up another strong piece of music combining melodic guitar ambience with impassioned vocal passion that methodically flows and ebbs its way through emotional fruition with a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Kaleidoscopes” presents more poppy, sing songy rock flair combining mesmerizing melodic guitar and impassioned feel that leads you head first into an amazing vocal finale.  As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic XTC, The Fixx, They Might Be Giants, Weezer, Depeche Mode and a splash of Modest Mouse. Despite my attempt at pigeonholing it needs to be said their sound is highly original.  The music has everything you would expect from a 4 piece rock band i/e solid low end rock grooves, melodic rhythm guitar with catchy keyboards, melodic vocals and  impressive harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm foundation. The vocal style of Bryant goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively. He’s got an amazing vocal timber and appealing vibrato and falsetto to boot. Bryant takes many impressive vocal risks along the way indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. The songwriting is world despite being a bit winded. All engineering aspects check out as the EP provides thick low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity overall. As the EP slowly reveals more and more to you its obvious Jumpship Astronaut is an accomplished rock band that is fun to listen to providing catchy melodies and a solid dance rock backbone. If these guys had a solid live presentation they would indeed be even more deadly no doubt. All songs themselves are rock-solid across the board with lyrical content that provides brilliant flashes of rich conventional wisdom  and passion. The EP ends with “Return” and “Ghost” the perfect final statements for an EP like this.

All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I wish there were more solo segments throughout. I typically deduct 1 star for EP releases as the full length CD is the best most complete snapshot to judge an artists by at any point in time

After checking out Lights Burn Out EP by Jumpship Astronaut I abandoned any hopes of finding any serious flaws. This EP is an impressive statement nonetheless that clearly proves this band is a force to be reckoned with around Oklahoma and beyond. I especially like how the songs are quite dynamic and danceable yet they still maintain strong marketability and melodic structure. I look forward to checking out more material from Jumpship Astronaut - hopefully this summer.  

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