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Review: Chris From Space Releases Their New S/T LP

Photo Credit: Alex Weiglein/Mission Control Media

Consistently undefinable Cincinnati psych rock-esque Chris From Space returns to the musical fray with his latest release, an eponymous adventure through the depths of time and reality.

Starting quietly enough, it slowly unfolds like you might imagine an adventure through the cosmos would play out - spacey, ethereal vocals, a soundscape that calls to mind 2001: A Space Odyssey, or even Interstellar, maybe Lost in Space. Chris From Space himself dubbed the album “a collection of songs of love, loss, and powerful aliens heralds of world-devouring entities; in short, a good, old-fashioned rock and roll record.” Honestly, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Even as it plays between the lines of various genre conventions - classic rock, funk, punk, rock, however you would categorize music that uses a theremin (but I don’t think there’s any actual theremin on this album, which is weird but I respect it if that’s the case) - it’s an album that playfully charts its own navigational coordinates.

“Friday Night in Hangar 18” feels like some strange, alternate universe take on late 90’s radio rock, like if Bizarro picked up a guitar and knew how to play piano. “Quantum Suicide” rides the line between dissonance and melody in a bizarre, heavy, melodic way, a la fellow Cincy rockers Siren Suit. Their cover of The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” is inspired and well done, and “Revenge of the Silver Surfer” is awesome based solely on it’s title. The album itself is kind of all over the place but never feels less cohesive because of it.

Typically a more or less solo endeavor, Chris From Space was brought to life with the help of two friends and local musicians, Robert Jennings on drums and Brandon Wheeler on guitar. “I couldn’t have made this album without these guys,” songwriter and frontman Chris Taylor says. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The album’s closer, “Andy,” doesn’t hold back on the discordant darkness that creeps around the edges of the album - it seeps into the track as the layers of minor chords build on each other without becoming overwhelming. It’s just loud enough, just glued together enough, to make for an exceptional end to what is a truly unique album.

Head over to the Chris From Space website to get all the delicious details, and give them a follow on Facebook to keep up to date with their travels and travails. It ain’t easy guarding the planet from the unknown. We’re lucky to have Chris From Space keeping a weathered eye on the starry horizon.