Album review: Starcrawler

Starcrawler - Starcrawler (Rough Trade)

Starcrawler. Photo:- Autumn de Wilde

Starcrawler. Photo:- Autumn de Wilde

THERE IS an enormous amount of hype around this LA quartet at the moment, Dave Grohl, Elton John, and Ryan Adams - who produced this, the band's debut - have raved about them, along with many music journos.

The reason is understandable. When was the last time you heard a band fuse The Stooges, The Runaways, The New York Dolls, The Heartbreakers, and, more broadly, classic rock, punk, and blues? And play as if everyday is somewhere between 1976 and 1982? These are touchstones and inspirations hardly anyone else is combining and exploring these days, so, potentially, for a new generation - lead singer Arrow de Wilde is not yet 20 - Starcrawler could be a gateway, guide, and leader.

Like the Ramones debut, Starcrawler is 28 minutes long, and they pack it with 10 songs of energetic, exciting, effervescent, pop-punk/sleaze rock. The one minute 22 second opener 'Train' sets out their stall with its thumping, frantic, riff and pace.

The band are not the finished package yet - is 'Pussy Power', an ode to oral sex, being ironic? 'Full Or Pride' seems to fall into old hard rock tropes of casual misogyny - but listen to the psychedelic swamp-stomp blues of 'Chicken Woman'; the brilliant, Johnny Thunders-esque, 'Let Her Be'; and the desolate, atmospheric, 'Tears', and what is left is a debut of great promise, and the feeling Starcrawler justify a lot of the excitement around them right now. One to watch.

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