We all know Flickerstick’s indiscretions. For 16 weeks VH1’s “Bands on the Run” was beamed into our living rooms via cable television in hour-long capsules. They drank, they fought, they slept with groupies, and they won. But none of that matters now. What matters now is the music.

The tuned-up version of Flickerstick’s “Welcoming Home the Astronauts” is a cluster bomb of tracks building to an apex of wailing guitars, thumping drums and impassioned vocals. The hauntingly hypnotic hooks of “Beautiful,” the first single, culminate in emotional ecstasy. It must be a cathartic experience for singer Brandin Lea.

Emotion-laced tracks “Smile” and “Coke” showcase Lea’s subdued and passionate vocals. “Smile” accurately flaunts the Flickerstick slow-build formula to rocking-out. It’s the perfect show closer leading to Rex “El Dangeroso” Ewing, Fletcher Lea and Cory Kreig smashing their guitars and Dominic Weir capsizing his drums.

“Coke” is the formidable sing-along ballad that won’t augment the soda maker’s commercials anytime soon, but it makes clever use of the company’s `70s jingle, “Come on I’d like to buy the world a Coke,” with the additional lyrics “and lie here taken with my girl.”

Flickerstick’s ready to shed the TV band rep with “Astronaut’s” radio-ready rock without the nu-metal rap, rap, rap.

– Justin Kendall