Exposé Online banner

Boolean Knife — Astrid and the Killer Penguin
(Bandcamp no#, 2016, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-06-11

Astrid and the Killer Penguin Cover art

I haven’t seen them use the term “psychedelic” to describe their music, but Chicago’s Boolean Knife certainly have qualities in common with modern psych bands, most notably The Dowling Poole. The sound could also be likened to power pop of the Teenage Fanclub or Matthew Sweet variety. Astrid and the Killer Penguin is their debut EP, and it consists of three songs in the four minute range which together tell some kind of story, though it’s a little hard to decipher exactly what happens aside from the participation of the two titular characters and the starting setting of “Antarctica.” But no matter — the songs are catchy and function quite well individually. It’s intelligent guitar-rock with good melodies and enough little quirks to set it apart from a zillion other indie bands. And they sing about penguins, which is a plus. To be fair, the music is not really overtly psychedelic — it’s just that in American rock, this kind of melodicism is mostly found in the psych arena. And the band’s obviously got a sense of fun, since killer penguins are not exactly heavy philosophical subject matter (though “The Visitor” seems to hint at some metaphorical significance to the story that I haven’t quite worked out yet). I don’t know if this is a taste of a full album based on Astrid’s story or it’s a self-contained entity unto itself. Either way, I’m looking forward to what comes next from this band.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Boolean Knife

More info
http://booleanknife.bandcamp.com/album/astrid-and-the-killer-penguin

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ange - Zenith An II – October 13, 2002 is perhaps a legendary date for fans of Ange. It was on this autumn evening that the band took to the stage at the Paris Zenith with a host of Ange members past and present, along...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues