Astro Boy @ Sonic Sunday - Satans Hollow Manchester - 23.10.05

Mancpunkscene is the underground resistance, fulltime website and community that offers a network in Manchester to bands and music fans disenfranchised by the mainstream media. As well as the website it's download compilation albums and gigs have spread the word further for the rock scene often denied coverage by mainstream rock magazines and the local regional media that prefers to cover the latest indie schindie bands touted by NME.

Sonic Sunday is the website's 2nd Birthday Bash and while headliners The Maple State clash with hippy throwbacks the Magic Numbers later on the evening, earlier on Designer Magazine caught 3 of the best with Astro Boy, No Standards and Graysons Hour.

Despite describing themselves as sounding like the Killers when we met them at In The City a few weeks previous, Astro-Boy sound not unlike the aforementioned Mancs the Maple State and between them they're the poster boys for the local scene. The most melodic band on todays bill, they deal in plaintive rolling melodies, longing vocals and at times disco beats. There's an angelic charm to the band, or maybe that's just after a few stella's we can't help put point and say E.L.L.I.O.T.T. in an ET stylee at their frontman.

"Minus Four Degrees" starts off at a pedestrian pace, before launching into a pogo-athon chorus, the cheap keyboard sound recalling the Teen-C generation as much as the Get Up Kids. "We're Not Stars" is the best song Astro Boy have and it's also their most obvious choice for the debut single proper when the right label picks them up.

Astro Boy have the looks, the tunes and by breaking out into pastures new, perhaps supporting local bands such as Omerta and those not defined by the Mancpunkscene community, they will surely build up the larger fanbase they clearly deserve.

Alex McCann

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