Some press for Astral Skulls:
"...the sombreness of straight-shooting pop with grittier, panic-stricken synth-punk."
4 stars "Once again Kurt's making the dystopian future (present?) sound really cool."
"I tend to ruminate and a lot of the time I can feel my life is strewn with mistakes and regrets. I think that's why this video/track from Australian no wave/post punk duo Astral Skulls was such a smack in the face for me. I could not recommend this more enthusiastically."
"It’s strong as hell 909-based post-punk that takes some of the brilliant ideas from Contact:Light and brings them back into a more classic, straight forward sound that’s easy to fall in love with."
08/04/17 - Destroy / Exist
"...a charming synthpop single titled What We Lost, is already available to listen, showcasing the band's tasteful aesthetics, which involve an elegant mixture of rough guitars, irresistible synths and an all-around notion of edgy post-punk meeting the innocence of pop music."
"My new wave, post-punk, and synthpop loving heart was immediately drawn to their infectiously pulsating anthem, whose throwback essence is reminiscent of classics from past decades."
"Astral Skulls mastermind Kurt Eckardt's reverb-soaked voice repeats vague and vaguely nihilistic lyrics over a slightly uncomfortable marriage of '80s-inspired Novation dance beats and wailing electric guitar. It kind of sounds like if Trent Reznor made a Mario Bros soundtrack."
"Holy cow! The first notes I’ve ever heard played live in Melbourne are being played by Astral Skulls! Those notes are bloopy and distorted, courtesy of this synth/laptop/guitar two-piece, who bring a lot of dirt and a lot of humour to the occasion. They forget the occasional song, but it’s really charming to see a band built around technology be so analog and filthy and human. Enjoyed that more than I should have – a fine welcome to Melbourne, a strong open to a show, and a lot of fun."
"Astral Skulls is an interesting musician whose dedication to crafting a tale over a whole album is commendable, as it isn’t something you see too much of these days. The idea of a concept album is a gamble, but Kurt knows his audience and as far as coming forth with something intelligent and engaging, Contact:Light is a definite success..."
"Eckardt eyes the planets from suburbia but Contact: Light is far from some starry-eyed dream-pop excursion. His serrated guitar style and minimal rhythmic clang conjure both Suicide and Kraftwerk..."
"Contact:Light is a great album for the dark-minded, or just the dark times, but don’t be expecting any respite from the aural assault..."
4 stars: "The entire project pushes conceptual boundaries, making for one of the most creative releases all year"
"It takes the ennui of Australian suburbia and launches it into the cold vacuum of space, utilising sensibilities forged in the Sydney punk community alongside vintage synth tone explorations."
"Synth-pop and Krautrock artist Astral Skulls is set to release his debut album Contact:Light independently on October 31st."
15/09/15 - Tone Deaf video premiere
"Quickly becoming one of our favourite new solo acts Astral Skulls is today premiering his brand new video for the electro post-punk gem ‘Voices’."
10/09/15 - The Music BIGSOUND LIVE night two recap
"An intriguing presence at Ric’s Bar, Astral Skulls presents his space inspired pop-punk with foundations of electronica and synth based melodies..."
10/09/15 - Dan Condon, Double J at Bigsound
"REALLY loving Astral Skulls. Dark. Passionate. Great."
07/09/15 - The Music Artist Profile
"I will be playing a whole bunch of new songs, many off my unreleased album as well as a couple of my singles."
03/09/15 - Blank Gold Coast
"Special Mentions: Astral Skulls: For having a cool as hell song called Sexism Sux."
31/08/15 - Dan Condon, triple j unearthed / Double J
"I love the synth in this song - turn it up LOUD for full effect. The guitar and beats cut through nicely too. And if your unpretentious lyrics get this simple, important message across to even a few young men, the world will be a better place."
15/08/15 - Sonic Masala
"This is good - and you feel that Astral Skulls is only getting better."
03/08/15 - Soundly Sounds
"The flip side builds upon Astral Skulls’ previous potential as Sinister Overlord of the Universe, a mean snarl stretched into three minutes of jagged post-punk."
15/07/15 - Different Kitchen
"Really liking the post-punk/no wave-meets-beatbox vibe of this Melbourne, Australia group’s just-released debut double sided 7″ vinyl single..."
09/07/15 - The Breakfast Spread on PBS
Musical Chairs - songs that have influenced me.
07/07/15 - Friday Overdrive on 2ser FM
"Kurt joined Anthony in the studio to talk about his musical background, his upcoming releases, namely "Contact:Light", and his 'DIY' approach to his compositions."
07/07/15 - Tone Deaf giveaway
"Sonically Astral Skulls is refining his own brand of minimalist jagged garage post punk electro and it’s gaining some serious momentum."
07/07/15 - Gimme Tinnitus Q and also A
"Kurt of Aussie punkpopper outfit Astral Skulls sent us these answers to our questions in this next instalment of q and also a."
01/07/15 - I Heard a Whisper
Class of 2015 mixtape - free download.
06/07/15 - Happy
"Blunt, but not crude. It may feel a little abrasive at first but the song really is a call to action. It calls out to all men to recognise the bullshit and do something about it.
"On the other side of the coin is Bite My Tongue, a more self deprecating song that feels far more honest. While Sexism Sux may be an optimistic call to action, Bite My Tongue is resigned to the truth of one’s own nature..."
16/06/15 - Dom Alessio, triple j unearthed
"Melbourne has a great history of jagged, synthy punk acts, from Primitive Calculators to Ausmuteants and a whole lot more. Nice to hear you carrying the torch."
11/05/2015 - Homework Magazine
"Melbourne based musician Astral Skulls sings songs about parties, escaping the suburbs and exploring the outer regions of space to a backdrop of jangly guitars and electronic pop beats. With a 7″ on the way, and a full album dedicated to space due for release in November, we asked Kurt about his three favourite Aliens..."
11/03/2015 - Tone Deaf
"Australia’s favourite rising musician Courtney Barnett has been making waves around the globe with her signature slack-rock gems, releasing her universally acclaimed yet internationally misunderstood sombre tune Depreston, and riding on the talented lass’ success arrives a parody from a local Aussie musician entitled Impreston..."
10/03/15 - Noisey
"The video is also a fun retort to Courtney Barnett’s Depreston, a somber song about moving further away from the inner city action. With lines such as, "the CBD is a quick bike ride/spend half as much on rent", Impreston is a fun and clever celebration of life in the 3072..."
27/02/15 - Noisey
"A one-man music machine, Astral Skulls meshed harsher guitar tones with a lo-fi synth-backing track. Yeah it sucks to play first but Kurt had the rowdy rum fuelled crowd in a loose headlock and by his last track the room had the feeling of a school-disco that had been taken over by a punker Marty McFly..."
23/12/14 - Noisey
"Kurt Eckardt is the sole driver/operator of Astral Skulls, an outer planetary guitar and synth vehicle that has landed in Melbourne via Brisbane..."
22/12/14 - Mess and Noise
"Eckardt has a knack for setting his misanthropic leanings against fairly menacing yet overtly poppy backdrops..."
26/08/14 - Sonic Masala
"The combination of guitar and synth here creates a 16-bit platform for monotone vocals to create an interesting cross section of New Wave marching nihilism and post-millennial hypercolour movement and beats. The end result? An anarchic drumbeat of post-punk that bubbles more than boils, made for cassettes to jam into your Commodore 64. More, please."
24/08/14 - Don't Need No Melody
"Go and listen to the cosmic guitars and big, beautiful beats served up by Brisbane’s Astral Skulls, then use Soldiers and Money to soundtrack your next intergalactic journey or road trip..."
04/06/14 - The Music
"Dark electronic pop delivered by Astral Skulls with beats so crisp they could cut butter and a deadpan monotone delivery of sadness. So very, very excellent."
Read more... (page 24)
22/05/14 - Mess and Noise
"The latest two are the shouty and agitated False Future and the purring and poppier Get the Money, while Under the Southern Cross seethes with bitterness about our country’s “stolen history.” But the “hit” is definitely Out of the Suburbs, which strikes an ideal balance between brooding vocals, pulsating layers and classic let’s-skip-town romance..."
19/05/14 - Lone Riot
"The result is somewhat equatable to sitting in a corner in space, turning it into your bedroom and hibernating, being enthralled and lulled by shooting stars, questioning the possible existence of alien life, and questioning your own..."
12/05/14 - Crawlspace Magazine
"It’s not the kind of raw and undeveloped scree you’d expect from a punk musician moving into more electronic territory. Eckardt’s delivery is reminiscent of Peter Escott from The Native Cats: it’s a bit droll but not at all offhand or uncaring..."