Happy Hour Astrology - s/t
(self-released, LP)

From Aural Innovations #23 (April 2003)

Happy Hour Astrology is the Columbus, Ohio based noise/space/soundscape/free-improv duo of Brady Burkett and Jonathan Pallay. The LP (limited edition of 100) consists of continually developing guitar and percussion atmospheric excursions that explore the darkest reaches of space where every sound counts toward the larger sonic whole.

Side one opens with the drums keeping a steady pounding tribal rock beat as the guitar jams along, blasting out wailing noise-psych notes and chords. But after a few minutes the mood calms and, while still grating, is more overtly atmospheric. It has a heavy jamming acidic space vibe that I enjoyed, and the changing rhythmic pace of the drums seem to guide and inspire the guitar. Soon the atmospherics take over completely and we find ourselves deep in space, with ambient waves winding a slow path and intermittent alien bleeps, rumbles and roars popping in to keep things interesting. A very good soundscape blend of space ambient exploration and harsher sounds. Kind of like an avant-garde free-improv version of Hawkwind's Space Ritual. Lots of cool effects and it all evolves steadily such that the listener is led down a slowly changing but determined path. Side two begins with a kind of Hendrix Star Spangled Banner guitar freakout against a hollow tunnel droning vibe. But it quickly moves into a noise-space exploration similar to what we heard on side one.

Overall this is pretty raw stuff and some of it does meander a bit. But Burkett and Pallay do an admirable job of painting aural landscapes that include just enough noise and aggression to add color, texture and a caffeinated kick to the proceedings, but also allow the listener to drift along and dig all the freaky sound constructions.

For more information you can email Happy Hour Astrology at: soundfield01@hotmail.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Happy Hour Astrology; 459 E. Clinton St; Columbus, OH 43202.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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