Colesville, MD trio Two Inch Astronaut make what’s been branded “post-feelings” indie rock, but the title of their newest release calls that description into question. The group has a second full-length record coming out later this fall, called Foulbrood (relation to the widespread, destructive bee disease?). They’ve just released the title track, which veers into pop territory without straying all too far from their old art punk sound. Singer and guitarist Sam Rosenberg says the song is “kind of a show of solidarity to anyone who spends a lot of their mental time just trying not to be clouded by gruesome or sad thoughts or images. Sounds kind of dreary, but it is meant to be hopeful.”
They’ve balanced the combo of brooding and optimism with fuzzy guitars, a poppy melodic hook, and doubled vocals with light harmonies. The lyrics, muffled at times, are blunt. “I’ve got a bad idea I’m trying to ignore,” Rosenberg intimates, and then later on, “It might not be so bad.” Guitar riffs and vocals alike make bold leaps, and past comparisons to 90s and early 2000s indie rock are well-earned—the vocals bring to mind Built to Spill, the instrumentation early Weezer. But it’s dynamic. Three minutes in, we move out of the sludge and into a clearing of bright arpeggios with a moving bassline. The song ends on a warm, atmospheric timbre.
Foulbrood is due out November 25 on Exploding in Sound. In the meantime, Two Inch Astronaut will play CMJ on October 24 at Brooklyn’s Trash Bar and October 25 at Silent Barn as part of Exploding In Sound’s birthday celebration.