Track Review: Blue Collar // Half Watt Aströnaut
While the members of Half Watt Aströnaut met at high school, it was only in 2015 (several years after graduation) that Nic Blankenship and Haydn Cone were to form this US-based rock group. Now, I use the term ‘group’ rather loosely as they are only a duo yet have the sound of a fully-fledged foursome. Loud and brash, the two-piece can blow your eardrums off and you probably wouldn’t notice…or mind for that matter. The latest addition to Half Watt Aströnaut is the single ‘Blue Collar’.
Known for their insightful lyrics over energetic melodies, Half Watt Aströnaut has been featured on The Other Side Reviews, FV Music Blog and 102.9 The Buzz (a radio station in Nashville). ‘Blue Collar’ is merely another addition to their genre-defying discography. As I said, it’s only a duo but damn they have a big sound!
“The song was inspired by being an essential worker in the middle of a global pandemic. While everyone else was quarantined and the world around me stopped, things picked up at work for me and I was out there working even harder in the Tennessee summer heat while worried about my health. It’s a song for everyone that goes to their job every day that does good, proud hard work even though they rarely get any credit.” – Nic Blankenship on ‘Blue Collar’
Not necessarily a protest or tribute song, but inspired by the current sociopolitical situation, ‘Blue Collar’ looks at issues of isolation, frustration and angst. An alt-rock meets melodic metal track, Nic lays meaningful lyricism atop pounding drums and heavy guitars. What I enjoy is not the mind-blowing force of the single, but rather the incorporation of funk guitars in the instrumental section of the song. A sort of eclectic shove showcasing the lads’ innovativeness as artists.
Overall, ‘Blue Collar’ and Half Watt Aströnaut is not a single or band easily described or defined. What I can say is the duo are unlike anything I’ve heard before and a definite breath of fresh air on the US rock scene.