Starcrawler Review – More Grunge & Poses

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Periodically, a young guitar band will come along and be tasked with saving rock’n’roll. Hyperbole rarely stops to define its terms, of course. Perhaps it should, since the idea that rock’n’roll as some sort of citadel in need of succour is pretty problematic.

What does it need saving from, and why? Great white hopes touted as torchbearers are often just that – white. Pleas for a wholesale return to some golden era of leather-jacketed swagger can easily dovetail into a worrying disinclination towards other, less white, genres.

The Los Angeles-based Starcrawler, whose youngest member is still in high school, closely track the fantasy photofit of a primal great white hope. They are the sort of young band that really, really excite gatekeepers of a certain age and inclination.

In an age dominated by sleek digital sounds, Starcrawler are twentynothings playing niche old music loud and outrageously. They live and die by a feral din filched from antecedents like the Stooges and Nirvana. Starcrawler’s music sulks, rants and poses fetchingly. Their eponymous debut is just out on Rough Trade – a label that knows a thing or two about great white hopes, having brought the Strokes to fame at the turn of the millennium.

As well as the lurch of reanimated grunge, there’s a Ramones-y, bubblegum so-whatness to Starcrawler tunes like I Love LA – about their plastic but quirky home town – that can turn quickly into real menace and detuned Black Sabbath riffing. The album rips by in about half an hour.

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In an age dominated by sleek digital sounds, Starcrawler are twentynothings playing niche old music loud and outrageously. They live and die by a feral din filched from antecedents like the Stooges and Nirvana. Starcrawler’s music sulks, rants and poses fetchingly. Their eponymous debut is just out on Rough Trade – a label that knows a thing or two about great white hopes, having brought the Strokes to fame at the turn of the millennium.

As well as the lurch of reanimated grunge, there’s a Ramones-y, bubblegum so-whatness to Starcrawler tunes like I Love LA – about their plastic but quirky home town – that can turn quickly into real menace and detuned Black Sabbath riffing. The album rips by in about half an hour.

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