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Tanner Horn & The Astronauts Before Breakfast
Crazy Days Entertainment

Tanner Horn, if you couldn’t tell from his band’s preposterously awkward moniker, is trying too hard. Horn pushes his voice to careen and curl into impossible reaches and as a result his band comes out sounding a bit like Buckcherry ripping off DNA and the Cramps. The group’s eponymous EP sounds like a decent band chained to the ground and subsequently dragged deeper still by an unsure frontman. “Panico” with its jagged guitar monotony and triumphant swagger reaches back to post-punk cool, but is ultimately derailed by the combination of dorky robot chick vocal snippets and clueless “We do it on the radio” callouts. Horn cops a little Isaac Brock-style squawk, but for the most part his vocals sound naturally jittery and tense.

The rest of the six-song disc finds Horn trying on different vocal quirks on each track, hopping from Brock to Neil Haggerty to Craig Finn to honky tonk howls and finally settling into the ghastly, miscalculated faux-accent and forced cadences of acoustic dirge “For The Ladies.”

But there is definitely hope for this group, if Horn can settle into his natural voice. “Crazy Days” (almost instantly skip-able due to a truly irritating acapella intro) breaks into a beautifully executed bridge replete with Ratatat-sounding ephemeral guitars lifting the track into a truly heart-pounding climax. “My Perverted Mind” finds the band comfortable dispensing indie rock in a classic mode and Horn’s voice seems less strained then on other cuts, especially when the song diverges into cut-up punk stuttering. And when Horn talks about showing off his “perverted mind,” you can’t help but wishing he had actually taken his own advice and stuck within this certain persona before letting himself zip about to a dozen other voices.

Favorite Track: “My Perverted Mind”

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Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in San Francisco with a girl and a designer dog (Chihuahua vs. dachshund). He is in a band by himself and has a myspace account ( and a production company ( for freelance film and crit/journo work.

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