Are You Who I Am? (Square)
by Scott Hefflon
At times beautiful and otherworldly, at times neo-psychedelic pop rock drivel, Astral Park have moments that reach further into the consciousness than most unsigned bands would dare. But again, when they falter and fall flat, the failure is absolutely painful. Opening with the dreamy sway of “Help to the Fallen,” Marian’s angelic vocals caress like a gentle breeze, yet by track five, a cover of Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” I have to ask, “Are You Who You Think You Are?” Berklee-trained virtuoso (or so the bio claims) Steve Latanision may be able to wash landscapes with textured guitarwork, or soar through the heavens with post-cerebral daydreams, but co-composing yet more forgettable pop songs in a mortal plane already overflowing with ’em is not a worthwhile venture. Perhaps pretentious Goth elitists and rune-studying, spell-memorizing, crystal ball-staring pagans might disagree as to the validity of Astral Park’s spiritual vision, but fuck them. When Astral Park stops trying to write catchy pop songs and merely lets the music flow from within, to these ears, the sound is sweet.