Local Wire

Asteria

To a classics scholar, Asteria is a mythical goddess who drowned herself in lieu of a non-consensual shtupping by the all-powerful Zeus. She's a symbol of feminine power and defiance. To fans of Midwestern pop-punk, Asteria are five well-dressed 20-somethings with week-old stubble who sound a little like Hit the Lights or any number of smirky, would-be Jimmy Eat Worlds. You think the guys know about their proto-feminist namesake? Maybe not. According to band lore, drummer Sam Henderson came up with the name while reading a gardening book; it sounded like "wisteria," which is a climbing vine with super-pretty purple flowers. That begs the question: Are Asteria the handsome twits that this anecdote paints them to be? After listening to a few cuts from their self-titled, self-produced EP, which they released last year, I think it remains a solid possibility. Despite a smattering of catchy hooks, particularly on the good-time anthem "Hoods & Capers," there's a fatal lack of disorder in the songwriting; it's slick, meticulous, and depressingly obedient. In other words, it's a pop-punk album that has as much in common with classic punk as a neo-liberal has with a regular liberal. Which is to say, zip.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Craig Outhier