Artist: Astral

Date Released: 2003

Label: Melting

Produced By:


  1. Barreling
  2. Blinder
  3. In Heaven
  4. Under Lock and Key
  5. Turn Me Around
  6. Slumber
  7. Orchids
  8. Last Light
  9. Raining Down
  10. Forbidden Kiss


The most impressive element of Astral is the full and brooding sound they create with only three people. Out of San Francisco, Dave Han (vocals/guitar), Amy Rosenoff (bass/backing vocals) and Shawn Poh (drums) blend characteristics of dark shoegaze, spacey prog and the shadowy post-punk for the soundtrack to the lonely midnight drive home. Their guitar sound is very impressive, heavy on the spaced-out reverb and slight delay; it just about carries every song. The well played drums bend toward the progressive-rock side, because of their full sound and the heavy use of toms. The only aspect of Orchids that really needs any work at all is the lyrics. The vocals themselves are not that bad, though they seem to be overshadowed in most songs, but the lyrics neither fall on the weary shoegaze side nor the sinister prog side. Rather, they just seem to be a side element to the rest of the Astral sound. Overall, a decent album that will find an audience, just maybe not a very big one. Mpardaiolo