Race to Neptune “Abandon Fashion”
Race to Neptune isn’t shy about loving the ’90s. They proudly proclaim their debt to the alternative era, and they wear some of their influences on their sleeves. “Departure” has some Ride-worthy shoegaze guitar swirl and the soaring melody of an early Smashing Pumpkins track. Elsewhere, “Mortal Melody” opens with minor-chord Soundgarden fuzz in a long, confident and slow-building instrumental intro. Then singer Brian Maier howls “wait” repeatedly and can’t help invoking Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.”
On “Sunsets,” there’s even a new take on upbeat California pop that puts the Byrds through an indie filter, just as Teenage Fanclub was doing in its heyday. And the EP closes with a mysterious and haunting seven-minute instrumental title track with some Kyuss sludge and some driving Fugazi guitar.
At the same time, the Fort Collins quartet isn’t just a grunge cover band. The group blends all these old-school influences into new and aggressive alt-rock noise. It’s polished and crisply produced noise, though. The band recorded and produced the four tracks live at Stout Studios, which is quickly developing a deserved reputation for capturing great live recordings.
Maier credits Matt and Matt, the bassist and drummer that share a name, with the band’s new energy and creative output. For the band’s first album, in 2016, Race to Neptune was just a duo — Maier and Zach Berger trading off on drums and guitars. It’s telling that within six weeks of the second Matt (drummer Matt Petersen), they recorded this EP. And they have plenty more waiting on deck.
They returned to Stout Studios in February to record another EP.