11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brooklyn’s Stellastarr* transport themselves from time and place, playing music that sounds as if it’s come from the U.K. in the ‘80s. The bristling basslines, the sturdy, unflinching beats, the churning modulating guitars and the near-perfect imitation of the Cure’s Robert Smith couldn’t be more apparent than in tunes such as “Tokyo Sky” and “Numbers,” where you’re forgiven if you think you’ve stumbled upon outtakes from the Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys or Faith. The sound is slightly more elaborate — that’s 2009 for you — but the tenor is pure early European Goth. This won’t win stellastarr* any awards for originality but it should entrance Cure fans and anyone who loves melodies that frolic in the shadows of British industrial towns. Tracks such as “Graffiti Eyes,” “Warchild,” and “Prom Zombie” feature enough drama and tight ensemble playing (the female back-ups from bassist Amanda Tannen soften things with a seductive touch) to make for multi-tiered listening, even if the initial influences are overwhelming. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brooklyn’s Stellastarr* transport themselves from time and place, playing music that sounds as if it’s come from the U.K. in the ‘80s. The bristling basslines, the sturdy, unflinching beats, the churning modulating guitars and the near-perfect imitation of the Cure’s Robert Smith couldn’t be more apparent than in tunes such as “Tokyo Sky” and “Numbers,” where you’re forgiven if you think you’ve stumbled upon outtakes from the Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys or Faith. The sound is slightly more elaborate — that’s 2009 for you — but the tenor is pure early European Goth. This won’t win stellastarr* any awards for originality but it should entrance Cure fans and anyone who loves melodies that frolic in the shadows of British industrial towns. Tracks such as “Graffiti Eyes,” “Warchild,” and “Prom Zombie” feature enough drama and tight ensemble playing (the female back-ups from bassist Amanda Tannen soften things with a seductive touch) to make for multi-tiered listening, even if the initial influences are overwhelming. 

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