Since Ferry Gouw’s V2-signed Semifinalists seemingly finished, Celestial Bodies has represented his return to first round action (and making music after directing a few videos for his mate, Lightspeed Champion). Although this isn’t necessarily the sort of venue where all bands will be paying their dues, the stage set up doesn’t seem designed to engage the clientele. If you’re not within touching distance of the band then some chunky pillars might make you feel a bit left out. So not the ideal place for a new solo project-come-group attempting something a bit moodier and less direct than your standard indie-with-a-bit-of-synth, and Ferry and Co. do struggle to get the punters involved. Their programmed beats and washes of synth atmosphere add colour to their choppy rhythms and emotive riffs, but it all feels a bit too forced, and too self-consciously angsty, to have any real emotional clout. As a lead voice, Gouw is mostly raw energy and little in the way of diverting, and although they’re committed I just can’t see much reason to single them out for praise. Pastiche is too strong a word but more inspiration and more identity is definitely needed.
By Martin Cordiner
Originally published in issue 14 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. February 2010