Born in San Diego but bred in the mists of Avalon, Astra have fast-become a synonym for the ethereal, the sublime, and indeed the genuinely progressive. Ever since 2009's The Weirding put these analog-inflected San Diego visionaries on the map alongside the likes of co-conspirators Earthless, Diagonal and Dungen, who like some lost tribe of prog faithful - have brought this unwieldly and much maligned form of music out of the dark ages and in front of a new generation of mellotron-loving cognoscenti.
Limited gatefold special die cut vinyl edition with attached booklet
Think wailing guitars and dulcet harmonies thickened by Mellotrons and given hypnotic qualities by the kind of drumming that borders on the shamanic. Cinematic in scope but frequently yielding to a kind of melodic fragility that can only be the product of genuine emotion. The Black Chords musical ebb and flow prove Astra to be both a bands band capable fo an artistry all too rare among their generation, and it's a sound to behold.
2. The Black Chord
3. Quake Meat
5. Bull Torpis
6. Barefoot In The Head
Now that the term Prog is no longer considered a four letter-word, the world is ready for a band like San Diego based Astra to actually make the term vital and effortlessly cool. Their Psychedelic brand of Progressive Rock manages to avoid the ghastly, self-indulgent clichés that predominated the bloated gut of its bad hair styled mid-seventies/early eighties definition. Astra make timeless music for timeless people. Their sound is a true breath of fresh air in these generally stagnant times. The care and attention given to every detail within The Weirding displays a dedication that is these days seldom seen or heard.
1. The Rising Of The Black Sun
2. The Weirding
3. Silent Sleep
4. The River Under
6. Broken Glass
7. The Dawning Of Ophicus
8. Beyond To Slight The Maze
Astra is a rock band from San Diego, California. Their sound is in the style of the 1970s progressive rock and psychedelic rock, and includes a variety of keyboards and long jams.
Richard Vaughan, Conor Riley, brothers Iain (drums) and Stuart Sclater formed the band Silver Sunshine in 2001 in San Diego. The band was renamed Astra after Iain Sclater decided to leave in 2006. The band was soon joined by David Hurley and Brian Ellis.