A*Star “Singles 2012”
<1> “Lotus” – Well, we’re starting with some pretty nice guitars. And here comes the kick in, which makes me think of “Come As You Are”, but then we get a nice guitar solo. And these female vocals with female backing vocals just threw me for a loop. I was expecting less of a poppy type of sound and more of a grunge sound. This could be a better version of Garbage (Yeah, I said it) or something along the lines of Veruca Salt, both of which just impress me immensely. “We don’t have to live with our demons”. Really? Show me how please. And an abrupt cut off to end it.
<2> “Flashbulb” – We’re a bit slower kicking in to this song. The vocals are faster and the music parallels them perfectly. This has an L7 sound to it mixed with especially Poe and Letters to Cleo. Though not so much LTC any more, once the chorus kicked in I stopped hearing it, even in the verses. This has a very unique female sound, as it has similarities with existing bands but overall can’t be pinpointed to any one specific band, so I give it a lot of respect for that (especially because I like this sort of female rock) The break down near 3:30 reminds me of Nirvana again.
<3> “Days Of” – This sounds like a cross between the first two songs. It sounds like something from the era of Veruca Salt, but not. I have to look up the name of the band I’m hearing in here, but these guitar riffs are always a nice touch. Aha! Republica, that’s the name I was searching for and finally found. Remember that band? Anyone? … Guess not.
<4> “Winter Radio” – I’m digging these crunchy guitars to open this song up. Ooooh, the singer is talking. I heard about this. They call it “slam poetry”, I think. I want to hear how this song plays out because right now it really reminds me of Thursday for some reason. Yeah, it seemed to just be the sort of spoken word song but nothing too unfamiliar to find placed mid-album somewhere. It’d set a nice pace for an album somewhere between the singles I’ve heard thus far.
<5> “Sunrise Panic demo” – Right away I can tell this is recorded differently than the previous songs. It sounds very cymbal heavy. Every time I want to compare this band to No Doubt I think to myself, “No. They’re better than that”. Hahahaha, is that a bad thing? When did I become so jaded when it comes to Gwen Stefani? Oh yeah, because now I know what a hollerback girl is. I think. It’s a hooker, right? We’re having a guitar solo in this song and I’m debating the street slang with myself. Argh. Must focus. Oh, that guitar solo ended the song. Nicely played.
<6> “Star Control” – This doesn’t have a ska sound to it really, but it does sound a lot like that band who covered that “Vacation” song in the days of ska. What was their name? Damn you for making me use Google so much in this review. One Eighty! Ha! I found them, no thanks to Wikipedia.
<7> “Drive It” – I’m running out of bands to compare these songs to, so let’s just say this song sounds like A*Star.
<8> “Star Control (Sleeping Bears Remix)” – A funky, 80s beat version of the original. Anyone want to make this into a 7” for me with the original version on the A Side and this on the B Side?
<9> “Drive It (Deep Cut Remix)” – This has got more of a hip hop beat behind it, maybe something like Gorillaz.