Following the breakup of Dark Captain in 2012, Dan Carney elected to pursue his music career alone, with the result being Astronauts. The debut under the alias, 'The Hollow Ponds', was released in 2014 and earned radio support from Steve Lamacq and Cerys Matthews, amongst others. 'End Codes' is his sophomore album.
Opening with the folk of 'Recondition', those unfamiliar with Astronauts are welcomed by a soft melody and soothing vocals. It would make for a solid start if it wasn't for the six minute running time, by which time interest wanes due to a lack of development, which isn't made up for by the electronic touches to 'Civil Engineer'. The beautiful melody at the core of 'You Can Turn It Off' is a momentary uplift to proceedings, but 'A Break In The Code, A Cork In The Stream' harps back to the first track in outstaying its welcome. Carney's relaxed approach to his art results in a regular dynamic and tone that are inoffensive, but forgettable, resulting in the likes of 'Hider' and 'Breakout' failing to catch the ear. So while this release isn't difficult to get through, it also fails to provide enjoyment.
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