Monday, 22 July 2013

DEAD STARS - EP REVIEW

Dead Stars - High Gain EP 
Dead Stars - High Gain

Come the summer time, everyone has their preferred soundtrack for cruising the streets on foot or with your car windows rolled down. Some like banging dance tunes, some prefer reggae and others like to blast out a bit of Ska. Personally, I can't think of anything better than cruising through the country lanes where I live, catching glimpses of the sea and letting some lo-fi, scuzzed up, indie tunes drift out of the car stereo - preferably with a drawly American accent. For this very reason, residents of South East Cornwall should listen out for Dead Star this weekend when I head off in my little car. The Brooklyn trio, you see, make me feel 17 again - an age at which I was discovering a whole host of bands from Weezer and Dinosaur Jr through to Feeder and Sebadoh. This five track EP kicks off with some up-tempo, choppy guitars and rumbling drums that draw you in instantaneously as 'Waste Away', an immediate slacker's anthem, sets the mood for the next 20 minutes or so. 'Let It Go' has a more dirgy, laboured feel to it but that's just the way I like it (as will my local farmer, no doubt). Third track, 'Fractured', though is where these guys really hit their stride with a great guitar hook that Feeder would kill for right now and the kind of sentiment (broken hearts, small ambitions) that my inner teenager is desperate to identify with if only he was allowed. The fuzzy guitars, the throbbing bass, the muddy drums nice and low in the mix and the We Are Scientists-esque vocal melodies are all I need to be convinced but there are still two tracks to go!

The pace gets slower with 'Staring At The Sun' with a circular riff that has you nodding rhythmically along without realising and an arrangement that is so simple, so pure that I can't help but dive right in. EP closer, 'No Sympathy', is an optimistic but grungy little number with some gorgeous chords that mirror the chugging bass to create a perfect soundtrack for a good wallow. The only problem I have is that for this to be an Indie Disco smash it needs a huuuuge ending and it doesn't quite  manage it but hey-ho, they can't hit every nail head on, can they? Dead Stars are probably never going to play stadiums but you'd offered a 17 year old me the opportunity to be in an awesome indie-grunge-pop band that lives in Brooklyn I would literally have snapped your arm off. Clean off, no blood or nothing. Come to think of it, offer me that now and I would be tempted. Go on, I dare you....


Live dates:

31st July - Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn (w/ The Hairs, The Teen Age, Honduras)

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