The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy - BARSUK
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Jon Falcone on January 25, 2012
Nada Surf have always had an ace in Matthew Caws’ voice. It’s as large and beautiful as a frozen lake, cold in tone but warming to observe. With his ongoing love of distant space lyrics and earth-bound melancholia, Nada Surf heat others by noting a universal sadness. Here, the voice bends and flits through minor chords and major ascents, electric-pop guitar riffs and flattened floor toms to create the majesty of cardboard castles. Every track is a perfect composition. Melodically, the band have an easy ability to pull on the heartstrings; harmonies bring a subtle sense of sadness, even under the bombastic (opener “Clear Eye Clouded Mind”). On “The Moon Is Calling,” Caws’ melody rolls to the center and retracts back with a sigh, the chorus crashing briefly in with questions (“Is it true? / Is it done? / Is it over?”) before returning to the grunge-pop beat. It’s thankfully not an album of covers, and thus a wonderful return.