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San Francisco trio Astral play the kind of dreamy pop rock heralded by bands like My Bloody Valentine and Catherine Wheel on their 10-track SLEEPWALKER. Floating vocals are barely heard over noisy guitars and simple yet effective drums on cuts like "Waterfall" while the spacious and melodic "Ways and Means" benefits from the warmth of recording with analog tape. Holding the candle for the type of mope rock that lumps The Cure, Joy Division, and Swervedriver into a category unto themselves, add in this set of Bay Area dream catchers to the list of bands who document the sounds of REM sleep with heavily effected instruments and reverb aplenty.
- Mike SOS