Ad Astra Per Aspera – Party Bones 7"
Love Garden, 2008
Acquired: 7” Release Show at the Jackpot, New, 2008
What a perfect record to start off the 7”s! For one, it's a local band, and the pride and joy of the Lawrence music scene in the mid to late 00s. It's the band that everyone likes because they're just really, really fucking good. Second, it was released by the record store where I buy a significant portion of my records. Third, it's unique because the first batch of these had a printing error, in that the labels from the first Ad Astra 7” on Love Garden were accidentally placed on these, so all that stuff is scribbled out with sharpie and arrows reading NOT THIS. It's charming. Fourth, it plays to my only frustration with 7”s: NOT KNOWING WHAT FUCKING SPEED TO SET THE TURNTABLE AT. Granted, this one has 33 RPM on it, but in my perfect world I can just keep it set at 45 forever. In a lot of cases, I'd say most cases, the speed isn't anywhere on the record and it's a crap shoot. Usually I can guess by looking at the thing, but you know, still a pain to sit down and realize it's playing at the wrong speed...like I did with this one! And you know what, I didn't notice until the vocals started about halfway through “Party Bones Pt. 1,” which I guess is a testament to how good Ad Astra are in that they can put out a record that works at both speeds. Ok, so Ad Astra work best at pulling off the slow burn tropical-laced punky noise rock with great precision. Sadly, this 7” (and it's predecessor, which for some strange reason I do not own) was released right before a few of the members moved to New York and the band went on indefinite hiatus, now only playing around Christmastime when everyone's in town. However, from those pseudo-ashes rose Ad Astra Arkestra, which is basically Mike Tuley's re-tooling of the band's songs into absolute chaos...and if they're often a tipping point for going to a show if they're on the bill because, you know, it's just a fucking blast. Their live show, like this record, is just plain ol' good fun. And while this 7” isn't as awesome as the “Dangerbird Blues” 7” (seriously, why the hell don't I own that?), it's still way good.
Here's some Arkestra for ya!