So here's the latest from Calling All Astronauts.
"Hands Up, Who Wants to Die?" Cheery imposition, isn't it? And, not surprisingly, I don't see too many hands up either.
What's interesting about this release is also one of the more confusing aspects to it. The contents of the EP are made up of 6 remixes of the eponymous song. Each remix is retitled after the style of music it has been remixed into - "Hands up who Wants EBM?", "Hands Up Who Wants Metal?", "Hands Up Who Wants Dubstep?" and so on. A novel concept, to be sure. But it's confusing because what does the original version sound like? Which version on the EP is actually the original version?
Still, what you have here is a version in one of 6 different styles, playing to the strengths of the band and cleverly using a broad knowledge of music in which to transmute their sound. The result allows the song to be played in different arenas for different purposes - on alternative rock radio, in a goth club, in a warehouse rave party DJ set.
The "Metal" version is probably the closest to the Astronauts signature sound. Chugging guitars, swirling synths and David Bury's strangled-seagull vocal delivery. He tends to oscillate wildly between a man channeling Johnny Cash in goth makeup and someone having their teeth extracted as the numbness wears off. Seriously, it's a very arresting combination, and it's the version that works best in my view. That's not to take anything away from the remixes, each of which have their own unique character and flavour, while staying true to the core elements of the band's sound.
It's an interesting experiment, and one worthy of a serious listen. Get into it below.