Spacehog – As It Is On Earth

Producer, Engineer, Mixing

Space Hog

On April 16th of 2013, Spacehog returned with their long awaited fourth album As It Is On Earth. Marking the band’s first album in a decade, As It Is On Earth, features production by Bryce Goggin, who also produced their first two albums. Anticipation built as they played shows around New York leading up to the independent release of their newest endeavor, which was made possible by their partnership with Pledge Music and help from their fans.Spacehog formed in 1994 and consisted of two Langdon brothers – bassist/vocalist Royston and rhythm guitar/vocalist Antony – drummer Jonny Cragg, and guitarist Richard Steel. All four were originally from Leeds, England and were then living in New York. Their debut album, Resident Alien, was released in 1995, spawning the huge hit “In the Meantime”. They released two more albums, including the gem The Chinese Album (1998), and The Hogyssey (2001), which wasn’t as great, but still contained some quality tracks. Upon quietly disbanding, each member fell into various other projects.When Spacehog reconvened to record As It Is On Earth, Antony was part of the reunited lineup, however, he soon left in order to his other pursuits, and multi-instrumentalist Timo Ellis stepped in.The album’s first track, “Deceit”, starts with a needle hitting a record; a familiar enough sound on its own, but loyal fans will also harken back to the opening of Spacehog songs “Shipwrecked” and “One Of These Days”. Starting out hauntingly lovely, the piano led song continues to build until it seems impossible to rise any further. Amazingly, it does and continues to ascend, soaring into Royston’s call of “These are the roads that we’ve already been down.”The tempo picks up with two hand-clapping rockers, “Love Is A Curious Thing” and “Gluttony”. The former a strutting, twangy tune with a sing along chorus, the latter a stomping pleasure with a snarling guitar. The song ”Bonnie and Clyde” is another highlight, with it’s vocal melody and harmonies reminiscent of classic Queen. The wonderfully catchy “I Wish You Well” is also another notable guitar performance.As a whole, there is not a bad song on the album. Even the nearly hokey “Oh, Dinosaur”, a funky wallow through the horrors of aging, is saved by it’s sincerity; not to mention the intro note mimicking 1995′s “In The Meantime” outro. Perhaps this one is truly letting fans know what happened in the meantime, since we last left off with Spacehog. The last song, “Glad To Know”, is another of the best. It has upbeat energy, the band sounds strong, and the backing vocals make singing along irresistible.Spacehog has oft been compared to artists of the 1970′s glam rock era, but these influences do not overpower their music. The band, more than ever, has a distinct sound all its own. Royston’s vocals are still particularly impressive, as are the harmonies in these newer compositions. There is a nostalgic feel throughout much of As It Is On Earth that comes across as honest and mature. Despite evoking themes of love lost, growing apart, aging and time passed, the album’s greatest achievement is leaving us wanting more and looking forward to Spacehog’s future. If this album is any indication, they have plenty more roads to take us down. CrypticRock gives As It Is On Earth 4 out of 5 stars.