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Afterhours in the Afterlife

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Album Review

Voyager One's slow-burn persistence in following their take on the shoegaze dream has ended up serving them well over time — where their earlier work was at best yet another re-creation of a massively influential yet subcultural sound, on Afterhours in the Afterlife they seem to have finally started becoming their own band, in a conditional and low-key way. Interestingly, part of this comes from outside collaborators, with the opening and closing songs being done with fellow neo-gaze freaks Guitar, whose understated electronics frame the more straight-up rock & roll most on offer elsewhere. As for those remaining eight tracks, the band now seems more dedicated than ever to working on a vein of neo-psychedelic pop sprawl — calling a song "The Future Is Obsolete" is both clever and knowing, a nod not only to how what is forward-looking can quickly become the past but how it might not matter much in the end. Peter Marchese's low, moody vocal cool is as much a familiar element as everything he and Jeramy Koepping (and guests) produce musically, from understated bass loops to lengthy drones and building swirls of feedback — and more than once, as on part of "Ocean Grey," the band definitely seems to want to be reaching for the sublime sonic violence that fellow Seattlites Kinski have made their own. But put it all together and Voyager One make it their own little corner of zoned/raging band heroics, drawing on a variety of eras and sounds rather than simply recloning one over and over again. Meanwhile, where they let their electronic impulses come to the fore, as with the strikingly dramatic "The Kids Take Control," which calls to mind Mezzanine-era Massive Attack more than any My Bloody Valentine knockoff, the end results can be quite moving.


Formed: 1998 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Voyager One began typically enough -- as an ad placed in a Seattle music magazine -- but has since gone on to create intricate, textural space-rock in the manner of Catherine Wheel, Swervedriver, and Ride. During the winter of 1998-1999, Peter Marchese (guitars/vocals) and Jeramy Koepping (guitar) laid down their first two-song demo. Pleased with their work, the overworked duo actively sought to round out Voyager One's lineup. They soon signed on bassist Dayna Loeffler and the first in a series...
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Afterhours in the Afterlife, Voyager One
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