Astrovan
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Astrovan

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Rock Classic Rock

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AstroVan - Deezer Hooch on lead vocals, Sam Damage on lead guitar/vocals, Big Zeke on rhythm guitar/vocals, Tony Mac on bass, and Donnie Metro on drums - hails from Seattle. The band has already opened for Nickelback and Papa Roach, and to all intents and purposes is garnering quite a following.
The "You Said It Man" EP, the band's debut, was produced/engineered by Don Gunn (Peter Frampton, Death Cab For Cutie) at Jason Mcgerr's Two Sticks Audio. They are already working on their first full-length album "Rollin On Shabbos" which should be released early 2011.
The band's sound is rock with hints of hard, classic, Southern blues, and a few unsurprising nods to grunge.
Good:
Deezer's vocals are splendid. He isn't massively unique or recognizable, but he has a controlled tone and a great range. AstroVan's music is lively and interesting, blatantly with an eye on the live arena. The production is ample, as is the musicianship.
Not So Good:
Every aspect of the band's work is good, but none (as of yet) is exceptional. There's no doubt these guys can play (guitarist Sam Damage is off out on tour with Grammy award winning Lauryn Hill soon) but they don't seem to push themselves as massively as I'm sure they could.
The Songs:
The boisterous 'Twelve Gauge Promise' is the standout entry, but that's not to take anything away from the other songs. This is a well rounded EP that promises much for the future.
In Summation:
The "You Said It Man" EP acts as a fine pointer. If they can build on this in a big way, their first LP could have some real balls. - Rock Realm


One note is all it takes. One note! Dig that guitar, hear the fuzz, the grit. Feel the thunder of the drum quaking in the background. Layer on some thick as molasses bass dripping in honey sweat, drop in a front-man with swagger, a cocky in your face ‘tude, with a foul mouth and a throat full of spit, and we got the makings of a great rock album . . er . . . EP.

Coming from Seattle, these guys suckled at the teet of Soundgarden, sprouted appendages in the womb of Alice in Chains. They were sired by the riff-Lords of Guns n’ Roses, and AC/DC and Aerosmith. And what emerged was fully-formed, ugly and nasty, pissed off and vowing not to take it no more. It’s all there, in song two, “Twelve Guage Promise.” I’m tired of talking to you/now it’s time for action. You want danger in your rock? How's a loaded shotgun in your face hit you?

The retro-packaging of the Peachy folder lets anyone know that these guys got '70's riff-rock rampaging in their veins. They blaze across the six-song EP, like a five-headed, hot-rod gang of parolees, pummeling out throttle-rock at high-octane levels. Suck on the exhaust, grab your brass knuckles and join in the fun.
- The Ripple Effect


For a start Astrovan have a big beardy tattooed singer called Deezer and a guitarist called Big Zeke. That alone makes them extremely cool!!! Unfortunately their bio does make a point to mention that they opened for Nickelback and Papa Roach in their hometown of Seattle in the summer of 2009...that isn't so cool. If you stand shoulder to shoulder with shit some of it will stain you. This little faux pas aside a few listens to this 6 track EP will show that there is much here to recommend Astrovan that means that, hopefully, they'll be able to transcend having to support pointless fake rock to get a crowd.
It's not immediately apparent how to categorise the band. They're not stoner but occasionally there is the odd twist that hints in that direction, they're not grunge but their Seattle heritage does occasionally shine through in a kind of Alice In Chains vibe. They're metal but in a more polished, 70's embracing way that's built on big riffs, big vocals and big choruses. Astrovan are a kind of identikit American rock band... "Every Change" is a ballad hints at both Lynyrd Skynyrd and the aforementioned Alice In Chains with Mike Patton on vocals whereas opener "Too Proud" is a balls out riff fest that guns the gas and goes for broke. "Hollywood Shuffle" boogies along nicely and "Uptight" rolls on a pleasant groove. Vocalist Deezer has a fine way with a melody and a strong set of lungs but I can't help wishing for a little more grit and character. The guy could sing the phone book and it would sound good but there's not a huge amount here that sets his voice apart from so many other people. Similarly, with the music, these guys have their chops off to a tee; the riffs are strong, the drumming has an easy swing and groove and there are some very tasty guitar solos to keep the 6 string fetishists drooling. Yet despite this there is something quite safe about Astrovan. Nothing here stands out as being on a level that would make them noticeable in an id parade of bands. This is very high quality, well produced, well written Middle American heavy rock that is lacking in a little dirt, danger and rock and roll spirit but is big on quality, professionalism and class.
Ultimately this is a decent collection of songs and if you want something to rock half an hour of your time and get your head nodding then this is the stuff. If you want something with a little more body and personality I suggest you look elsewhere and leave this to the middle class frustrated rock chicks. Whatever else they may be though, Astrovan are still a damn sight better than Papa Roach or Nickelback!!!
- Sleeping Shaman


ASTROVAN – “You Said It Man” CD EP ’10 (Private, US) – Remember back in the ‘90’s, when “Seattle” meant more than just the name of a city in the Pacific Northwest? It meant more than the place Ichiro plays baseball or more than the town that’s home field for a bald quarterback. No, “Seattle” was virtually synonymous with the birth of an entire genre of heavy music, it’s most famous son being of course the tragic figure of Kurt Cobain. Well, I sure as hell hope none of these ASTROVAN guys follows in Mr. C’s personal footsteps but with this nifty little disc, these 5 are trying to put their place of business back on the map. “You Said It Man” is nothing complicated. It’s nothing that’s going to make you sit back, scratch your head and say to yourself, “Jeez, I wonder what it is these artists are trying to say to me here?” No, there’ll be no time for that, honcho, because you’ll be too busy just rawking your ass off to even care. See, ASTROVAN are a 5-piece that takes a generous helping of ‘70’s riff-rock, a heaping dollup of metal and then just grooves like no tomorrow. You don’t have to go any further than opener “Too Proud” to get walloped by a back-breaker of a rhythm. The clear, top-level production job brings the powerful riffing into sharp relief and atop it, Deezer’s incisive, throaty vox and the wah-wah soloing of Sam Damage ride like a biker on a Harley. The boys mix it up nicely too, with a faster neck-snapper like “Twelve Gauge Promise” easing in nicely next to the laid-back-yet-seething pulse of “Every Change.” “You Said It Man” is a slab of high-test windows-down rawk and my only wish is that it were longer than 6 songs. Still, making the listener hungry for more ain’t a bad idea and it beats the hell out of some 68 minute disc that’s bloated with filler. That’s What I’m Talking About! - RAYSREALM


"Seattle band Astrovan is making a big splash on the indie music industry with their fantastic Rock sound that Rock music lovers will find appealing." - Juniorscave.com


Discography

Debut EP- "You Said It Man" released December 2009
All tracks are available on iTunes, Rhapsody, and Amazon!

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Bio

Astrovan is a group of Seattle musicians who love to Rock. They combine elements of blues, classic rock, and metal to create a unique sound that is both new and old. Passionate about their no rules philosophy, they are dedicated to the sole purpose of making great music! Get in the van and feel the rush as they lead the way... In a short amount of time, the band has made its presence felt in the Seattle scene. In summer 2009 they opened up for a sold-out Nickleback and Papa Roach crowd at The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington. Astrovan can already be seen and heard in many of the premier concert venues in the Pacific Northwest. Tony Mac continues to endorse Ampeg bass amplification, Sam Damage recently began a relationship with Blackheart Amps, and after the band made the trip down to NAMM 2010 Donnie Metro now endorses Pork Pie Drums. Astrovan is also on schedule for 2 showcase shows for NAMM 2011 as well. The release of Astrovan's debut EP, "You said it man" has Seattle buzzing with anticipation. Working with producer/engineer Don Gunn (Death Cab For Cutie, Peter Frampton, and many more.) at Two Sticks Audio, a recording facility owned by Jason Mcgerr (Death Cab For Cutie), Astrovan was able to capture its massive, raw sound! With the no rules inspired mantra, they take you in unexpected directions, creating a new sound they can call all their own. You’re gonna love it if you’re a fan of Rock music. Expect Astrovan to be putting a gritty, groovy, "ol' school" sound back on the map! You know you want to hear it…

Astrovan is currently recording their debut full length album "Rollin On Shabbos" and plans to tour in the Spring of 2011 after it's release.