Were it not for the weekly reminders in the NME, I might have thought that everywhere east of Glasgow was capable only of either trotting out Scandidisco remixes of our wonderful Anglo-Saxon music, or donning cardigans and burbling their own winsome, yet unmarketable, folk songs. Denmark’s The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are every bit the aesthetic fulfillment of such a preconception. The tone of surprise and expectation of intrinsic national “quirkiness” that colours every piece of writing about a genuinely good album produced by a band that happens to hail from Denmark, Sweden or Norway is nothing more or less than a prejudice, a kind of unconscious cultural condescension. Funnily enough, like most other peoples of the globe, Scandinavians are actually capable of making some really great music – and the Asteroids Galaxy Tour are no exception.
The album really isn’t bad at all. The retro-revival brass section trend (that Mark Ronson has been forced to shoulder the responsibility for) is certainly present, and used correctly for once. This is no Lily Allen parody of a sound that deserves to be taken seriously, but a genuine and enthusiastic stylistic choice. Regrettably, that choice is occasionally ignored in favour of a diluted semi-synthpop (as heard on ‘Heart Attack’ and the title track), that never quite tears itself away from the ‘nu-soul’ rhythms to which the brass section was so ideally suited.
It is music that you will have heard before. Almost every song on Out of Frequency sounds like a cousin of ‘The Golden Age’, the breakout single that made the band’s name and soundtracked that Heineken advert. Some would use this apparent lack of imagination as a stick with which to beat the album. However, I feel that the Asteroids Galaxy Tour are best when they stick to their guns. This is not ‘ideas’ music; it’s a bit of fun. It’s something to put on when you need cheering up, or a little mindless bounce in your step. Sure, the lyrics are meaningless; every song feels the same; Lindberg’s voice can get a big grating – but this music makes me want to dance. They’ve found a formula that works – a danceable beat, a hint of the futuristic, horns and trumpets, a yelp or two from frontwoman Mette Lindberg, and it’s good as gold.
3.5/5 (or four at a push)