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Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem

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Album Review

In the time between the release of their debut EP, Acrophobe, and their first full-length, Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem, Bad Astronaut went from a three-piece to a seven-piece band. With the new lineup, the Santa Barbara group added layers of synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers to their crunchy indie rock to make an American companion to Radiohead's The Bends or an alternate-universe follow-up to Grandaddy's Under the Western Freeway. Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem, though lacking the consistently awe-inspiring forward thinking of Radiohead and the rural grit of Grandaddy, is an impressive debut by any standard. While staying true to their pop-punk roots (Cape's Lagwagon, for example) on tracks like "Single," Bad Astronaut redefines the scope of the genre, much like the Anniversary, with spaced-out analog synth sounds. "Disarm" evokes Hunky Dory-era Bowie with melancholy acoustic guitar strumming and a jaunty piano-and-string bit, "Solar Sister" is a Posies cover, and "Our Greatest Year," complete with harmonica from John Popper of Blues Traveler, goes from subtle, shimmering folk to an all-out space rock epic. It's not a perfect record, but Bad Astronaut has managed to cross early-'70s Bowie with Jimmy Eat World, and that's no small feat.

Customer Reviews

Houston we have no problem

One of my top 5 albums of all time. It took a couple of listens to grow on me, but now I listen to this more than any other album. They are all great songs, but "If I had a Son", "Another Dead Romance" and "Killers and Liars" are absolutely amazing.

Amazing album

Haven't heard anything this great in a long time. Its been playing nonstop.


Formed: 2000 in Santa Barbara, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

On top of fronting the melodic pop-punk quintet of Lagwagon, vocalist and guitarist Joey Cape also moonlights as the frontman for Bad Astronaut. Accompanied by former Nerf Herder and Swingin' Utters bassist Marko 72 (also of Sugarcult) and Lagwagon drummer Derrick Plourde, this indie rock three-piece debuted in their hometown of Santa Barbara in early 2000. With their polished but mature and complex presence that resembles Cape's full-time gig, Bad Astronaut released their first EP, Acrophobe, courtesy...
Full Bio
Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem, Bad Astronaut
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Customer Ratings