Cassiopeia @ Yucca Tap Room
Putting a song over 10 minutes long on your debut full-length is masturbatory. Putting three songs that nearly hit the 10-minute mark on the record? That simply doesn't work, because listeners don't need much excuse to roll their eyes and shrug as they head off in more fashionable direction. (See: MGMT's Congratulations.) It's a different story for Cassiopeia. The Phoenix shoegazers don't specialize in cut-and-dried Death Cab for Cutie-style melodies. Instead, they paint spaced-out soundscapes that capture the imagination. On their debut, Cassiopeia tosses the expected whiny singer and swaps him/her for emotive guitar riffs that tell a story without melodrama. Maybe the approach led to the band's name, as the upward-gazing rockers clearly are inspired by the constellation named for the self-absorbed queen in Greek mythology. Song titles like "Stargazer," "The Ascension," and "The Highest Step on Earth" aren't exactly surprising, but the music is thoughtful and well-constructed. You could call it "space rock," but Cassiopeia skips the stoned hippie mindset for a more scientific approach. Call it the difference between astrology and astronomy.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.