Friday 18 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Jump street

Jump street

OKC’s Jumpship Astronaut navigates a galaxy of guitars with the only weapon it has: electronic rock that’s out of this world.

Zach Hale March 20th, 2013

Jumpship Astronaut with Ford the River
9 p.m. Friday
Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Company
50 Penn Place

Photo: Clayton Elder
Electronic bands face an uphill climb in the Sooner State, which boasts a proud musical heritage long defined by the obvious (country), the unassuming (folk rock) and, more recently, the brash (garage and punk).

Oklahomans like their guitars — for good reason — and the instrument’s reign atop the state is unlikely to be relinquished anytime soon.

But there’s been a recent influx of electronic sounds in the broader musical landscape, and with the rise of synthesizer-driven outfits like Colin Nance and Chrome Pony, the local scene is starting to follow suit.

Jumpship Astronaut — a five-man, Oklahoma City-based electronic collective — is yet another emerging force behind this tectonic shift, although its role remains somewhat ambiguous among concertgoers.

“Nobody knows what we do until they see us,” said Chris Bourland, the band’s primary synth player. “I think they expect us to be a jam band, but we’re not.”

Another impedance, often faced by Jumpship Astronaut, is the expectation of a pre-recorded show devoid of live instrumentation. It’s a stigma that plagues most within the genre, but drummer Austin Sims thinks his band is starting to shirk that stereotype.

“I hate saying we’re a rock band, because we’re not. We’re pretty far from that,” Sims said. “When people come out and see us, a lot are like, ‘Wow, you guys are actually playing everything!’ The fact that we’re playing everything live works to our advantage; it impresses people.”

Scott Dunn, bassist and synth assistant, sees an opportunity as well.

“There are tons of people that like a lot of the bands we’re influenced by,” Dunn said. “But I don’t know if they even know who to look for in the local scene. That’s been a major challenge.”

The act itself has its fair share of influences: from Passion Pit to Bonnie Raitt and everything in between. Singer Ryan Bryant has what he described as a “weird, encyclopedic knowledge of metal bands.”

Inevitably, their amalgam of tastes oozes into their music in the form of high-energy, celebratory tunes with a baroque sense of pop melody.

Jumpship Astronaut steadily has unearthed its voice in only one year of existence — a period in which most bands struggle to find theirs.

“Recently we were going back and listening to old demos,” Bryant said. “They’re completely different songs [now] — much more realized and so much better.”

As the group preps for next month’s release of its first EP — recorded in its own modest space and mixed at Norman’s Bell Labs studio — its ultimate goal of winning over fans and ascertaining a role in the city’s changing dynamics is seemingly within reach.

“We’re finally coming into our sound as a band — going from that vision that we had to realizing something a little different, but still ours,” said Bryant. “We’re finding our niche.”

Hey! Read This:
Chrome Pony interview   
Colin Nance interview

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