The problem with bands who choose a statement for their band name means that I'm often left in the frankly hilarious situation of using the name casually without a second-thought for the idea that somebody might not know who I'm talking about, and in fact assume that I absurdly just stated that God was in fact an astronaut. I don't even know if it's true but God Is an Astronaut would probably have a few words about my doubting-ways given the affirmative nature of their strange name. Of course, ridiculous band-names are par for the course when we're dealing with post-rock, a genre which never really peaked but has healthily continued to produce a steady stream of bands which know their art and craft it well. It's not a flawless genre, but in this age of revivalism it should be commended for standing firm and tall above the rest for being remarkably consistent. Post-rock live? Well, that's a different kettle of astronauts. Much like shoegazing, post-rock is all in the in-studio production and as such can be quite difficult to nail in the live setting. Some bands simply choose to turn the amps up the 11 and let the rhythm section carry the climax, while others rely on about 25 different pedals to swoosh and swirl around your head like this is some kind of 7.1 remaster of Metal Machine Music. So, how did God Is an Astronaut fare? They managed to setup remarkably quickly, within around five minutes they were playing. Hoxton Square Bar was completely packed out, it was quite obvious that these guys had their devoted following. I wouldn't call myself a hardcore fan but I certainly enjoy their records and if die-hard fan reports are to be believed, they do put on a fantastic live show. By the end of the first song I realised that they were one of those 'turn this up to 11' bands, but I sure as hell wasn't complaining - much to my surprise, they really knew how to stay tight as a rock n roll outfit, occasionally breaking into elements of math-rock and hardcore. Given the intense nature of their performances, they quite wisely filled the tuning-gaps between songs with ambient samples as to keep the momentum going, although it has to be said that these fills were mostly drowned out by the impressed crowd cheering. No song in their set felt like a particular highlight - usually, this would indicate a set fraught with mediocrity - but GIAA transcended the peaks and lows with an admirable commitment to brainbusting power; sure there were the traditional post-rock quiet/loud dynamics, but the dynamics were handled expertly and with a genuine sense of passion. The band did seem slightly reluctant to have any 15-minute psychedelic jams (which in all honesty, given the caliber of their musicianship, I was hoping for) but then perhaps that kind of indulgent exercise could have distracted from the tight performance that they exhibited with power and precision. I understand that they don't tour here too much, but Torsten (lead guy) made a muffled statement about returning in April to promote an EP. Well worth checking out.