What do you get when you mix themes like extraterrestrial life, universe, and video games? You got yourself a powerful sci-fi inspired stoner rock album! Right of the bat, I must admit this recording carries some next-level ideas and outstanding musicianship. There’s something about this record that forces me to spin it over and over again. Astral Arcade is the most advanced full-length recording by Ghost Frog, a Portland, Oregon based progressive space rock/stoner band. Since their formation, the group released several recordings such as a debut single named Made In Mars, a debut full-length cassette Laser Tag, and another cassette release called Cosmic Bowling. Ghost Frog relies upon science fiction thematics both visually and sonically, so their music is a perfect choice for those who’re admiring retrofuturism.
Astral Arcade carries dozen of unique compositions that are exploring the vast universe of underground music. This particular album was heavily promoted over the social media by powerful singles such as Permanent Hermit and City Snatchers. Perhaps their music grasps the best qualities of stoner rock and sludge metal, but there’s more you could demand from such a band. Besides the dominant reign of stoner rock and sludge metal, you may notice how Ghost Frog explores genres like progressive rock, psychedelic rock, space rock, doom rock, grunge, shoegaze, and post-punk. Astral Arcade represents a comprehensive collection of various ingredients, carefully assembled into powerful trippy shoegaze stoner rock recording. It’s nearly mindblowing how this material levitates between mellow shoegaze melodies and robust˛sludgy doom rock riffages. Perhaps the group nurtures a calmy ambiance, but at the same prepare yourself for a direct slap in the face, because this album carries various surprises along the way.
The downtuned guitars are layered with generous dosages of fuzz, so you’ll experience a massively distorted sound that appears as a colossal slab of noise, but the melodies are vividly hearable. There are some similarities with renowned groups such as Dinosaur Jr, Fu Manchu, Smashing Pumpkins, Black Sabbath, but Ghost Frog keeps these articulations as unique as possible. The gracious layer of psychedelic harmonizations, melodies, and accentuations come over robust guitar shreds. These articulations are mainly responsible for such a characteristic atmosphere that will certainly be cherished among admirers of psychedelic, shoegaze, and stoner sound. The colossal rhythm section surrenders another layer of massiveness through powerful basslines and an outstanding rhythm section. Both instruments are equally present in the mix alongside the guitars and vocals, so you’ll vividly hear each tone delivered by the group.
Astral Arcade represents an amalgam of various musical genres combined to perfection. These compositions are demonstrating the exceptional musicianship of each member, their bright ideas, and tremendous arrangements. Astral Arcade comes on black vinyl, but it is also available at streaming services such as
Spotify and Bandcamp. Check out the Ghost Frog Bandcamp page for more detailed information about ordering.