Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Stars Are Insane “Pop Industry” (Rok Lok Records)

            This might not be the sound that I am used to hearing from Stars Are Insane, but when you title your cassette “Pop Industry”, you have to expect that it’s going to have some sort of pop rock sound to it overall. 

            There is no easy way to describe the sound Stars Are Insane makes here because while it certainly has its influences, it is the end result of those other sounds being combined with that sort of touch you’d expect from Stars Are Insane.  It’d be like one of your favorite artists who is prominent in a specific genre taking a turn into another genre.   Sure, the new genre has some hints of its peers, but elements from that original genre still remain for it to keep its own identity. 

            Everything from the dark, melodramatic guitar riffs of Matthew Sweet to Blur come out in the beginning of this.   It is later on that something does come out along the lines of earlier Nirvana, maybe a song like “Sliver” and then something indie rock and possibly some Sig Transit Gloria and/or The Stereo.    

            There is an acoustic number on Side A that could be Weezer’s “Butterfly” song, but then most of the rock after that turns into something along the lines of Lemonheads, Smoking Popes or even Tom Petty.   So many things just seem to be happening at once that it is hard to dissect, and it might even be that way because the vocals are often distorted as if being sung through unconventional methods. 

            You also have to really appreciate the lyrics on here.  “You won’t find my name in the obituaries ‘cause no one cares” is an interesting line that makes me wonder whether people have to submit obituaries to newspapers for publications or if they just come up automatically like the police blotter because, you know, death certificates and all.   If they have to be submitted by next of kin/loved one/etc., thinking about someone dying and going unnoticed could be one of the saddest feelings ever.

            While I can neither confirm nor deny that the next Stars Are Insane cassette will have this same pop rock sound or go back to previous releases or somewhere new entirely (I really just don’t know personally), it doesn’t matter to me so long as Stars Are Insane continues to create music of this caliber.  

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