In Streams (Martians Go Home Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Hum's radio hit, "Stars", ("She thinks she missed the train to mars, she's out back counting stars"), helped the band find a national audience and develop die-hard fans who lived and breathed the emotive, lyrically-deep post-punk rock songs found on their debut, You'd Prefer An Astronaut (RCA).
But, commercial popularity is fleeting. Hum learned that the hard way. When their follow-up, 1998's Downward Is Heavenward (RCA) failed to produce a hit, they found themselves without a label. Back to the drawing board, the band eventually decided to disband and move on, with members going back to school, getting married, and living life.
Fans never gave up hope though. They knew Hum was too powerful, too vital, and its members too in love with creating music to give up that easily. A few fan sites helped other fans keep tabs on the members and their activities, most notably vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Matt Talbott.
When Talbott formed Centaur, fans rejoiced. Little did they know that they would get his most honest, bleeding heart release to date.
With the death of his newborn son ever alive in his mind, Talbott turns tragedy into magic, creating one of the most honest, open albums of the last decade, a stunning, heartbreaking album filled with lyrics of Talbott's loss.
Using psychedelia, pop-rock, and ambiance, the atmospheric, poetic In Streams, Centaur's debut, finds Talbott's voice echoing in your head while he swims around in the guitar-driven, textured concoction that he and the band (bassist Derek Niedringhaus and drummer Jim Kelly) deliver.
With as much Pink Floyd as there is My Bloody Valentine, Centaur dabbles in it all on their debut. The end result is a powerful, gripping collection of songs that simmer and steam, taking you on a journey, your mind open to the imagery as the song progresses. I'll give this an A.