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Tune In: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Danish Import, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Plays Hit or Miss Set at Bowery Ballroom

Touring in support of their first LP “Fruit” off Small Giants Records, Danish pop/rock/soul/funk/garage band (not necessarily in that order) The Asteroids Galaxy Tour performed an hour-long gig Tuesday night (March 16) at Bowery Ballroom.

The duo, consisting of lead vocalist Mette Lindberg (who resembles a longhaired Debbie Harry of Blondie) and bassist and producer Lars Iversen, were joined by Mads Brinch Nielsen (guitar, keys), Rasmus Valldorf (drums) and horn section, Miloud Carl Sabri (trumpet) and Svend Meinild (sax). But, Lindberg’s soulful voice and lively yelps juxtaposed with Iversen’s bottom-heavy bass lines and prominent hooks remain the songs’ foundation.

Lindberg’s crooning vocal range and model frame suggests she could have been a solo pop star, but chose to front a groove-driven rock and roll band instead. Iversen attempts to use his basslines to pull together the backbeat drums, resounding vocals, sparse horns and guitars, and intermingling keyboard clatter, but sometimes comes up short. For a five-piece outfit, almost every other song in the set sounded empty, leaving the crowd wanting more of the fuller, danceable pop grooves making up the better half of the gig.

The high points included the opener “Push the Envelope” and its follow-up “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More.” Some critics would write The Asteroids Galaxy Tour off early since one of their better tracks, “Around the Bend,” first gained notoriety from an Apple iPod TV commercial. Hearing the song live, however, made me get over its early use in advertising. The slowed-down “Hero” was more ballad-like live compared to the produced album version, for better or worse. “Bad Fever” is my personal favorite off “Fruit.” During the one song encore The Asteroids Galaxy Tour left a positive last impression with “The Golden Age.”

The groovy, noisy pop (especially the songs with a fuller sound and more conspicuous bass and horns) that’s easy to tap your foot to, makes me eager to hear what Lindberg and Iversen come up with for their sophomore record. For now, the Danes are on to Austin, to take part in the annual SXSW festivities.

Hear them for yourself at http://www.myspace.com/theasteroidsgalaxytour.

-Matt Surrusco

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