Monday 13 July 2020

The Asteroid No.4 - Imagination Station 1998-2020

The Asteroid No.4 are an American psychedelic band based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originating from Philadelphia in the latter half of the 1990s, the band began their relocation to the west coast in 2011. Since forming, the band has endured several lineup changes. Over the last ten years, however, they have consistently included Scott Vitt (vocals, guitar), Eric Harms (guitar), Adam Weaver (drums, vocals), Matty Rhodes (bass, vocals), and most recently, John Ziemba (guitars, vocals).

The band is known for their dynamic live act, integrating multi-textured guitars and reverb-drenched vocal harmonies over an unwavering rhythm section. However, it’s been their prolific recording output, including what will soon be their ninth full-length album, that’s helped build their dedicated fan base within the flourishing underground psychedelic scene. With well over a dozen compilation appearances, digital-only rarity releases, and multiple singles and EPs, the band is said to improve with each release.

The Asteroid No.4’s sound has been called a “hypnotic hybrid of several different genres filtered through the kaleidoscope of all things psychedelic.” Whether it be “Krautrock”, “shoegaze”, folkrock, or even the occasional dabbling in “Cosmic” countryrock, the band have never shied away from wearing their influences squarely on their sleeves.

 I was a bit of a latecomer to The Asteroid No.4, not hearing them until around 2004/05, when their 2nd album "King Richard's Collectibles" (released in 2001) was recommended to me. They've released several albums and singles/EPs since forming in the latter half of the 90s, they have a new album scheduled for release this year titled "Northern Songs" which I'm really looking forward to. On hearing about this forthcoming release, I figured it was time I compiled some of my favourite tracks by the band. This was another tough one to compile with so many good tracks to choose from. All albums are worth getting, even the much maligned 3rd album, the country rock influenced "Honeyspot". If I had to choose my 2 favourites, they'd be "Hail to the Clear Figurines" from 2011 and their self-titled album released in 2013.

One minor problem with this collection was how to name the band. They have a habit of using variations on their name for each release, usually as The Asteroid #4 or The Asteroid No.4. I chose the latter as that is the version they use on their website plus on their most recent releases. As usual, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you all enjoy!

  1. Wicked Wire (2:14)
  2. Back of Your Mind (4:31)
  3. Golden Girl of Spain (3:51)
  4. Local Fashion Junky (4:11)
  5. I Look Around (3:10)
  6. Dead Blues (6:13)
  7. Monday Morning Gloom (5:11)
  8. The Shepherd (3:20)
  9. It's All OK (3:12)
10. Ticking Timebomb (4:12)
11. Be Yourself By Yourself (4:50)
12. Hei Nah Lab (3:46)
13. The Seventh Moon (4:53)
14. Weeping Willow (4:26)
15. Tinkerbell Meets Reality (2:44)
16. Kate and the King (9:12)
17. Apple Street (3:03)
18. California (3:18)
19. Revolution Prevail (3:31)

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