I Was A Starship

New Standards Men

Snappy Little Numbers/Floating Cave Records, 2021


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


New Standards Men is a Denver, Colorado outfit where the constant members Drew Bissell (bass, electronics) and Jeremy Brashaw (guitar) are joined by Bob Bucko Jr. (sax, synth), Ike Turner (drums), and Luke Tweedy (synth, recording, engineering). Their release my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 I Was A Starship offers us three lengthy and experimental tracks that are quite unpredictable and meticulous.

“Trucha” starts the listen with a low rumbling from Bissell as an initially restrained version of post-rock embraces psychedelia and even sludge in its mysterious presence. As the climate advances, the setting turns more dense with angular guitar work and more forceful drumming thanks to Turner, before retreating to a serene, even meditative quality near the end.

The middle track, “(ours),” might be the shortest at less than 12 minutes, but it's the best, finding the band exploring a bristling intensity that certainly tips its hat to sludge-core. After a lengthy bout of firm, even ominous interplay, the tune lands in dissonant, chunky droning that comes with a sublime introspection.

The final track “Moon Tan” spends 15 minutes shimmering with a brighter radiance, where drumming acrobatics and fuzzy guitars meet for a very memorable version of noise-rock. Towards the end, the landscape even recruits warmth amid the precise dynamics of the very talented quintet.

Sometimes reminding us of a Hoover side project if they grew up on a steady diet of Hawkwind and the Melvins, fans of post-punk, prog-rock, psych rock, and even jazz will find these three tracks to be nothing short of spellbinding.

This disc is available as a 'name your price' for the digital album and also offered on vinyl and cassette. The always fertile Denver music scene is home to many exciting outfits today, and New Standard Men is certainly at the top of that list as evidenced by this robust and charming LP.

Rating: A-

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© 2021 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Snappy Little Numbers/Floating Cave Records, and is used for informational purposes only.