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"Feedback King"

I hate it when a band falls through the cracks. Or, more accurately, when I fail to give my proper due. So consider this my sincere apology for failing to really say much of anything about How to Kill a King, the new record from Portland’s best post-instrumental rockers AristeiA.

Everything about “Feedback King”—from the title-that’s-so-perfect-you’re-shocked-Mogwai-didn’t-use-it to the songs’ beautiful assault of reverberating guitars, crashing, resistant slo-mo drums and heavenly background synths—screams “EPIC.” Yet the song succeeds not because of its resemblance to similar instrumental acts like Explosions in the Sky and Mono but instead in how it differentiates. Clocking in at a sturdy six minutes, “Feedback King” never loses its focus or drifts into a clueless bridge; it’s constantly mutating, shifting with waves of feedback and plucked guitars that weave in and out of the mix.

In the record’s liner notes, guitarist Brandon Gordon thanks, of all people, German film composer Hans Zimmer. Listening to How to Kill a King, though, it all starts to make sense. AristeiA’s songs are almost mini-film compositions themselves, and the best ones—like “Feedback King”—display a narrative rise and swell that mirrors the best epics of our time. I regret sleeping on these dudes. Hopefully local directors won’t make the same mistake. - Willamette Weekly,

"New Post Rock Gems"

AristeiA - How to Kill a King -EP- :: This band from Portland caught me by storm like the warrior’s prowess that their Iliadic name suggests*. This debut CD is truly great post-rock for fans of Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and others in that vein. My favorite track is “Feedback King,” and it’s all-in-all a solid outing. Their packaging of the CD is also quite unique… it’s a hand sewn golden pouch** with oversized liner cards and a paper sleeved CD. It doesn’t fit nicely in my standard rack (between Argyle Park & Arrested Development); but it definitely stands out and shows that they put effort into their record as a whole, not just the music. I’m excited about seeing them live in October when I’m up in Portland for work. Check them out at:
…. - mainly music meanderings

"Its how rock stars should be"

It's how rock stars should be:

"When I think of concert audiences, I think of people screaming to hear a favorite band, people swaying to the music or maybe even dancing, and having a nice brew or two while checking out a group. I did this on August 30.

I did not expect to hear screams of agony pouring forth behind the mix of guitars and cello on stage. I was startled, gazing into the audience for the source only to realize that it was not the audience but the instruments themselves. This ghost-like experience gave me the chills.

AristeiA takes the strong droning guitar-work of Explosions in the Sky and adds to it cello and vocals for a sound that reverberates and washes over audiences from quiet melodies to drowning noise—and everything in-between.

I was surprised at the power behind the group before me, adding to it a strong stage presence and friendly after-the-show demeanor, running around the Doug Fir basement shaking hands, giving hugs, and dancing to We're From Japan.

It's how rock stars should be."

-Andy Fense
reviews - CD Baby

"Feature Band: Aristeia"

CDEP, 2008]

Dear AristeiA,

It’s been too long. I’ve missed you. There’s a laundry list of things I’ve wanted to say but haven’t in the past year. I’ve been busy. Things are good; I just get distracted. I’m sorry I haven’t made it down to Portland to see any of your amazing shows and I’m sorry we haven’t spoken in a while. I’d like to take a moment and rectify that because, despite my being vacant, I do have strong feelings for you.

You see, there’s a job and a girlfriend. (There’s always a girl. Right? They take us away at times—but they’re sure great company as well.) The responsibilities of life sometimes drown out everything but the immediate, making the age-old statement Ignorance is bliss all the more true. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.

So here I am, holding your new EP, listening to the songs. And I realize just how much I’ve missed you. I remember way back in 2006, meeting you for the first time at Doug Fir in Portland. When you took the stage, I was instantly surrounded by sound. There was something powerful behind the noise—something that altered realities.

And here you are, doing it again. First, the instrumental “Self Will Run Riot” and then on “Goldenwings”. Your vocals are so strange here, almost operatic—i.e. as if from an opera—but mixed with your edgy shoegaze sound they fit, oddly enough. Then “Halkuon” drives me into a hypnotic state.

Yes, we’ve missed each other, but I’m sure we’ll meet again soon. Maybe it’ll be next month, maybe not for another year. But that day will eventually come ‘round. We’ll embrace like old friends, maybe share a brew. And you’ll blow me away just like the olden days.

Best wishes,

Fense. -


The finest moments for the Portland quartet of Aristeia are those when the band loses itself in expansive meandering periods of instrumental noise. These dramatic breakdowns are both precise and open ended, an epic rise and fall of swelling notes that makes Explosions in the Sky look like a bunch of Texas bedwetters...but considering their love for distorted, and raw, loud rock, it's a safe assumption these boys can throw down. Fisticuffs abound! EAC - Portland Mercury

"You Give Me Strength"

[CD-R, 2006]

AristeiA's first full length album, You Give Me Strength, You Give Me Patience!, blends the jam-session stylings of Built to Spill with the post-rock sensibilities of Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky, which the majority of their sound is influenced by. Floating melodies intertwine with pounding rhythms to carry you on a journey across winter soundscapes.

The album opens with the retrospective mini-epic, "She Makes Me Want To Build A Time Machine," which starts at a mid-tempo and builds into a lovely crescendo over a 6 minute expanse before floating back down to earth for a final send-off.

Largely an instrumental album, AristeiA relies on the power of its music to carry their message through, eschewing lyrics until the second track, "The Genies I've Known," which employs the lyric The snow is melting now/ and I'm seeing green, sparking imagery of Spring and rejuvenation.

The most haunting track on the album, "Baby Cart Into Hades," sprouts up in stark contradiction with the feeling of walking through a snow-covered forest at night, where the guitars sound like the rushing of an oncoming train before the beat kicks in at the two minute mark, creating a sensation disturbing in its determination before bursting into an ever-rising fury of hellfire. Though the song still invokes the sensation of renewal, it makes no effort to sugar-coat the lingering darkness surrounding the heart of the journey.

Finally, their last track, "A Kick That Could Wreck A Skyscraper," sounds like the transmutation from man to monster. A reflective piece, it seems to relay the narrative of a person on the edge, leaping across a ravine and floating through the ether of uncertainty before landing on the other side as a 50 foot giant wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting metropolis. Whether or not it was a conscious effort to have the guitars sound like Godzilla gnashing his teeth, coupled with the sound of saucers and helicopters in the sky is probably a superfluous question, as the narrative quality of AristeiA’s music sparks a barrage of imagery open to interpretation, yet never disappoints at thought-provoking, holistic music. -


released March 2006
released December 2006
released May 2007
released September 2008



"Portland’s best post-instrumental rockers...succeeds not because of its resemblance to similar instrumental acts.. but instead in how it differentiates"-Michael Mannheimer, Willamette Week

"I was surprised at the power behind the group before me, adding to it a strong stage presence and friendly after the show demeanor"

Aristeia formed in November 2005 and has since grown into one of the most exciting rock bands in the Portland music scene. Since their inception they have released four records to stellar reviews by numerous online and print publications, completed two full west coast tours, creating an ever-increasing fan base.

Recently signed with Static Management Aristeia is growing rapidly. Having shared the stage with indie heavyweights like The Sea and Cake, Tokyo Police Club, Unwed Sailor, White Rabbits, Bedhead, Monuments to Masses, Asobi Seksu, Git Some, and being the only band to play CD’s 10 year anniversary party, Aristeia is making its presence felt.

In recent months Aristeia has been inking endorsement deals with everyone from Shine Drums to Rotosound strings, and shot a video for the song “Feedback King” off their latest release “How to Kill a King”.

The boys are currently writing new material for an upcoming album, booking a 7 week coast to coast US tour for sping 09’, and actively seeking booking agents and distribution.