Astrid Oto remind me a lot of Cleveland Bound Death Sentence. They have the same kind of up-beat punk songs with the same kind of sometimes political, sometimes nostalgic-for-yesterday lyrics, and they even have the same kind of crazy-kid-in-a-Kinkos layout to the CD packaging. All of this makes sense because both bands have the same drummer/lyricist/layout guy, Aaron Cometbus. Astrid Oto even has a similar style of alternating male and female vocals to Cleveland Bound Death Sentence. This makes it impossible for me to listen to this Astrid Oto album without comparing it to CBDS. This is a shame, because if I’d never heard CBDS, I’d love this album. It’s fast and catchy without being poppy, and the vocals have a nice balance of anger, snottiness, and flat-out rocking. But I can’t help comparing it to CBDS and thinking that this would be a lot cooler if Emily and Paddy were singing. This is probably my problem and not Astrid Oto’s. And, since CBDS isn’t likely to put out anything else, Astrid Oto does make a great second choice.
–sean (No Idea)