Spacehog: As It Is On Earth
Anyone who was at least a teenager in 1995 probably remembers the catchy chorus of Spacehog’s big hit, “In The Meantime.” Or maybe you remember that spacey guitar riff, combining grunge and glam in a way that was most pleasing to the ears. When they disappeared and seemed to have been written off as a 90’s alt-rock casualty, I always wondered what happened to them and wished they would come back. As I got older, they became one of those bands that I grew to fully appreciate. So when As It Is On Earth landed in my Dropbox, I felt a rush of nostalgia and fondness, yet I also felt an excitement for the future.
Unbeknownst to me, Spacehog had in fact released two more albums after Resident Alien, which were a precursor to the cinematic quality often heard on this one. However, they never seemed to reach the notoriety they achieved in 1995 and they disbanded in 2001, which explains the resounding chorus of, “Yeah, what happened to Spacehog?” that I got when I mentioned this album to my friends.
Thankfully, life has its serendipities, and they reunited with producer Bryce Goggin (who worked with them on Resident Alien) to create As It Is On Earth. There are similarities between the two albums even though they’re nearly 20 years apart in age. The opening track, “Deceit,” is a sleepy, dreamy ballad, which strongly showcases lead singer Antony Langdon’s vocals in a very Ziggy Stardust fashion. Clocking in at about seven minutes long, it sets the mood for the rest of the album, which gathers speed and momentum by the next track, “Love Is A Curious Thing,” with a catchy chorus and a relentlessly upbeat feel. But the real magic happens with “Gluttony,” which brings us everything about 90’s alt-rock that we didn’t realize we missed. My other favorites are “Sunset Boulevard” and “Glad To Know,” the latter of which somehow manages to combine a 70’s soul chorus with David Bowie sitting on a stool and strumming along. “I Wish You Well” could have been a B-side on Resident Alien, with its signature vocal harmonies and lushly distorted guitars.
This album flows impeccably from slow and thoughtful to spontaneous and all-out rockin’. If you were wondering what happened to Spacehog, this is the best answer you could’ve asked for.