Astrological Straits

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Astrological Straits
Zach Hill - Astrological Straits.jpg
Studio album by
Released August 12, 2008 (2008-08-12)
Recorded Retrofit Recording, Sacramento, California, United States
Length 92:38
Label Anticon, Ipecac
Producer Zach Hill, John Reed Thompson
Zach Hill chronology
Astrological Straits

Astrological Straits is the debut full-length studio album by American recording artist Zach Hill. It was released on August 12, 2008 by Anticon and Ipecac Records.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Alternative Press 80/100[2]
The Phoenix 3.5/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media 6.9/10[4]
PopMatters 6/10 stars[5]
Spin 6/10[6]
Sputnikmusic 2/5 stars[7]

Astrological Straits has received generally favorable reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews and ratings from mainstream critics, the album received a metascore of 72, based on six reviews.[1] Michael Patrick Brady of The Phoenix called the album an "unrestrained torrent of challenging yet tuneful rock" and pointed out that this album served as an outlet for Hill's "abstract ideas".[3] Marc Masters of Pitchfork Media found that Hill's drumming dominated the album. He compared the sound to the work of Liars, Boredoms, Lightning Bolt and Frank Zappa while comparing his vocals on the track "Hindsight Is Nowhere" to those of Angus Andrew, vocalist of Liars.[4] John Bohannon of PopMatters complimented the melodies on the album while he criticized the "bombardment of snare drum and obnoxious electronic tones" as well as the choice of including Les Claypool in the album.[5] Nick Greer of Sputnikmusic called Hill's drumming "virtuostic, strange, and interesting" while describing his vocals as compressed and monotonous. He compared the guitar sounds on the album to those of Hella's Spencer Seim's work with added "strange slides and electronic, microtonal blurs". Greer appreciated the more pop-driven songs to more experimental ones and called parts of the album "nearly unlistenable".[7]

Track listing

All tracks written by Zach Hill.

Astrological Straits[8]
No. Title Length
1. "Iambic Strays" 5:15
2. "Toll Road" 4:45
3. "Street People" 1:52
4. "Dark Art" 4:20
5. "Keep Calm and Carry On" 5:51
6. "Hindsight is Nowhere" 4:02
7. "Ummer" 1:59
8. "Stoic Logic" 3:09
9. "Uhuru" 8:46
10. "Momentum" 4:18
11. "Unseen Forces" 3:13
12. "Tick On" 3:08
13. "Astrological Straits" 8:57
14. "Necromancer" 32:57
Total length: 92:38


  • Credits for Astrological Straits adapted from album liner notes.

Release history

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
United States August 12, 2008 2CD Ipecac Records
2LP Anticon


  1. ^ a b "Astrological Straits Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  2. ^ "Critic Reviews for Astrological Straits". Metacritic. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Brady, Michael Patrick (August 12, 2008). "Zach Hill - Astrological Straits". The Phoenix. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Masters, Marc (August 26, 2008). "Zach Hill: Astrological Straits". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Bohannon, John (October 6, 2008). "Zach Hill: Astrological Straits". PopMatters. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  6. ^ Gross, Jason (October 14, 2008). "Zach Hill, 'Astrological Straits' (Ipecac)". Spin. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Greer, Nick (August 14, 2008). "Zach Hill - Astrological Straits". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  8. ^ "Astrological Straits - Zach Hill". AllMusic. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Astrological Straits". Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Astrological Straits". Anticon. Retrieved March 24, 2014.

External links

  • Astrological Straits at Discogs (list of releases)
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