Monday, October 17, 2016

REVIEW: Starbenders - Heavy Petting

    The epitome of Neo-Glam rock. Is there such a subsect genre? There is now. Coming from “tha ATL”, the band bears such a distinction honestly; their sound is really what the New York Dolls or “Aladdin Sane” era Bowie might have sounded like birthed upon the musical landscape of somewhat more modern times, instead of what the sleeve credits suggest. The quartet hails from Atlanta, and their lush, densely-layered sonic palate gives me hope for the future of southern-based artistic product (ooooh, the most scintillating of tense and uneasy of alter egos saddled upon this thang called “ROCK AND ROOOOWWLLLE!”) . The band currently has two releases: A self-titled EP from 2013, and “Heavy Petting”, a full-length (I never get tired of giggling whenever I see that written or hear it anywhere) from this current year of our Jon Lord, 2016. The EP is a little more feisty, more on the UK 77 punk side of town as far as the bands catalog is concerned, specifically “Bat On A Leash” which has a thick-tongued cockney vocal delivery over a never-fails rock riff. “Heavy Petting”, however, does a textbook (or dare I say scrapbook) job of touching on enough extended classifications of music to make for a very satisfying listen. It never seems to get stale, even on the 50th listen and beyond, because it never sets out to settle on one sound. “Blood” has a melancholy, ghostly morose intro that builds to an aching pulse, and might actually have those “HAUNTING FEMALE VOCALS” I’ve read so much about that are basically just code for someone with no vocal range, working with a producer/engineer who is rather slap happy with the echo and chorus effects. Like Nico if she had just made herself a smack sandwich. “Detroit” is a pop-rock number that evokes feelgood music of the past, like if the Carpenters really got into Cheap Trick and Buzzcocks and U2 all at once. “Downtown” is the opening credits for some film or TV show, the scene where our unsuspecting protagonist is riding into town after a lengthy hiatus, unaware of the major personal struggles and challenges that await. It’s razor sharp and rocks with purpose. Continuing on this theme, “Time Stops” should be in the trailer of the aforementioned film, provided it is a huge summer blockbuster. It’s grandiose, dramatic, grim, cinematic and beautiful. And those are just the first four songs! You can own the entire output for fifteen bucks (sixteen if you count the new single “So High” which was just recently released) and I would highly suggest doing so.
Starbenders ARE:
Kimi Shelter - lead vox/lead guitar
Aaron Lecesne - bass/vox
Katie Herron – drums (A native of Huntsville, AL. Future party fun fact!)
Chris Tokaji- guitars/vox
-Jackson A.D.
www.starbenders.band

[This review (and many others) appear in the upcoming Issue 13 of GAD!]

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