Intentions Of An Asteroid’s 2002 release Clear Water Paranoia has had a digital release for the first time. Storge editor Sarah Lay takes the opportunity to revisit the album.
In 2002 rock music was in somewhat is a transition phase. Grunge was a decade behind us, the Dad Rock entrails of Britpop were slowly shivelling up while post-hardcore and math rock were stretching the boundaries of their genre. While The Industry began to hypnotise the masses with televised talent shows elsewhere the underground was producing rock that lunged from the introspective and fragile emotion of Coldplay to the operatics of Muse and while indie hadn’t quite reached landfill proportions it was certainly on the way. The decline of guitar music as a dominant force may have begun, but reports of the genre’s death were greatly overstated.
At the grassroots sprung a dispersed scene of band’s exploring the influences they’d picked up in the previous decade, their most formative years for the most part, and exploring what that meant to their own creativity. There was the heaviness of metal, the fuzz of grunge, the more complex signatures of post-hardcore. It was still a boys own adventure in music with modern masculinity underpinning most tracks lyrically.
In Derby Intentions Of An Asteroid – who along with Stumble were one of the many school band’s of LostAlone’s Steven Battelle and Mark Gibson along with Charles Rayner and Simon Jablonski – were among those finding their own sound in rock and in 2002 released album Cold Water Paranoia. In an era which was still mainly non-digital (it would be 2003 before we got MySpace and iTunes was only a year old by 2002) the record got a Japan-only release at the time but is has now been unleashed on the Internet meaning early-naughties flashbacks and a chance to settle into the songs, now tempered by the passage of time.
Announcing the digital release on the LostAlone Facebook page Steven Battelle wrote, “I think you can hear some hints at our future LostAlone sound within the songs. I just listened for the first time in a decade and although I really dont like my voice on this I think some of the songs stand up, especially the lyrics. I wish I could remember writing these songs but alas I dont have any recollection!”
Those familiar with LostAlone will, as Battelle says, find indications of their sound in these earlier tracks but that grandiose rock sound also holds steady against contemporaries such as Muse (who released second album Origins Of Symmetry the year before this album dropped). Earlier influences can be heard too – Break Another Bone‘s bounce brings to mind Wire, with the warm and melodic guitar of Incubus and vocals with a grunge edge to the rock-operatic harmony. Complex layers seamlessly sewn into a big and ballsy whole.
Cold Water Paranoia flies true with the sweeping riffs, and clean production typical of the time and introspective lyrics set against stadium-sized rock riffs. As musicians this is a moment when influences started to coalesce into a sound distinctively their own.
The band split in 2003 to re-emerge as the more widely known LostAlone but the digital release of this earlier album is an interesting point in their musical development as well as perfectly captured moment of early-noughties emotional hardcore that still sounds great today.