Album, Single and EP Reviews


  Asteroids by Richard Haswell

Asteroids cover art

Artist: Richard Haswell
Title: Asteroids
Catalogue Number: Rhubarb Music
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2013

In the eternally spinning world of laptop music making the loop is everything and, even if the music is not actually looped, it will probably sound like it is looped. Using that limitation to advantage is Richard Haswell as he surreptitiously sneaks out his 22nd album “Asteroids”.

With such commendable productivity, it is perhaps unsurprisingly that Richard Haswell loops back over himself but, to his credit, he uses his trademark downbeat guitar crashing melancholy to divert your attention from the verisimilitude.  This approach works best on “Jarvik” where that feeling of familiarity is overcome by the sheer force of directed sonic emotion.
With edgy guitar much to the fore in matters of driving his songs along, it is inevitable that a comparison is made to classic era Scottish guitar pop with that pleasing retro feeling being reinforced with the sound of analogue synths.  It’s amazing the inspiration that you will find in a postcard.

Being recorded on a laptop effectively limits the sound here to flat, dull lo-fi which is a shame as many of the songs would have benefitted from a sparkier mix (and rather laughably, there is even a mastering credit for the murk!).  Still, our Mr Haswell writes a good song and of that there is no doubt.

Review Date: June 16, 2013