Home Read Classic Album Review: Bad Astronaut | Acrophobe

Classic Album Review: Bad Astronaut | Acrophobe

The punk purists won't know what to make of this. That's a pretty big compliment.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


They’re from the punky environs of Santa Barbara. They’re on a punk label. Their members have played in other punk bands — singer-guitarist Joey Cape and drummer Derrick Plourde are from Lagwagon, while bassist Marko 72 hails from The Swingin’ Utters. But make no mistake: Bad Astronaut are not a punk band.

Oh sure, this ambitious 10-song mini-album has its fair share of snappy beats and chiming guitars. But what punk album has piano ballads, intricate ’70s rock arrangements, jazzy passages, Don Henley-ish pop-rock melodies and three-dimensional, fully realized songs with emotions beyond anger and angst? And how many punk bands do you know that cover Elliott Smith’s Needle In The Hay and pay a musical tribute to Paul Westerberg? After all that, your punkier-than-thou friends won’t know what to make of Bad Astronaut. And that just might be the highest compliment you could pay them.