4 April 2013 Stuff We Like

Hum - You'd Prefer an Astronaut

Hum - You'd Prefer an Astronaut

You'd Prefer an Astronaut is the third studio album by the Champaign, Illinois post-hardcore band HUM. It was first released on April 11, 1995 by RCA Records as their major label debut. Hum’s sound encapsulates tons of nuances that are typical of many early and mid-nineties bands of different genres. They have managed to create a fluid hybrid between shoe-gazey guitar tones and a vocal style that is typical of Midwestern emo bands like Texas Is the Reason. Hum lyrically transcends other bands of its kind in the figurative sense with its countless allusions to the cosmos, specifically referenced in the title of the album.

Galactic phenomena are recurring thematic elements in their songs, with references to the Milky Way, the Little Dipper and Mars alike. Hum has even been tagged as “space-rock”. These references play in harmony with Hum’s atmospheric, dreamy vibe. The first track is a slow tempo, fuzzy shoe-gaze song, while the second one picks up to a mid-tempo groove which channels a grungier persona that parallels pieces by the Deftones. The album then transitions into an interlude that pays a deeper homage to emo influences on the subtle, American Football-esque track “The Very Old Man” with soft minimalistic guitar and cross-stick percussion. This album leaves few stones unturned in terms of quintessential 90’s features and is a true gem if you are looking for a find that is akin to any of the aforementioned artists.

– Arielle Koonin

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