Stardrops

Live review from Underground 101:

IMG_9434wtmk.jpgSetlist:

1. Light & Shadow

2. Nobody

3. Total Chaos

4. Happy Infection

5. Forever

It was all set to be a unique show, in that after a long time we had not one but two bands making their live debuts on this night. The first was a band that made for a very interesting visual – a bassist built like Doyle Frankenstein, a pop-star looking singer, one guitarist who looks like a Strokes member and one diminutive lead guitarist who almost certainly belongs in a Puffy AmiYumi video. This could’ve been majorly disconcerting, but luckily it only serves to augment their sound, which is a good mix of different kinds of rock. Now, there’s nothing groundbreaking or avant-garde or any words like that, let’s be very clear, but it is good, solid rock with some hints of Sabbath-like metal and light funk. That’s their wheelhouse; and if it’s yours too, you’ll enjoy them. It’s not surprising either, considering that they’re something of a “supergroup’ – bassist Gavin is ex-Gong Wu, and guitarist Gami used to be in Glitter, so they’ve been around the block.

Their drummer was especially good that night, essentially leading the band between different styles. My major problem with them is that they ended up sounding very generic, but they definitely deserve some more time. The singer in particular could go for a sound like Siouxsie Sioux – she certainly has the voice for it. For now, she’s the decent pop-singer type, but I have to say that a slightly more oblique approach could really help set her apart from other such singers. Another useful thing to do would be to get some good vocal training – in songs like Forever you can’t help but cringe when some very key notes were missed.

The lead guitarists’ style can perhaps be best summed up as “like Jennifer Batten”, who played with Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck in the 80s. The sharp, medium-paced yet punchy 80s-style melodic leads really reminded me of Ms. Batten, and that’s a compliment. The drummer’s command of the band was highlighted in Total Chaos, moving between grunge, glam metal and a Sabbath-ey chug. Nobody was an interesting number with a light twirling riff in the style of the Kaiser Chiefs, if a little let down by the generic singing. It’ll be interesting to see where they take their energies in the future. Whatever their faults, the band was really very tight, and definitely entertaining, so I’d have to congratulate them for a successful debut.

– Shashwati Kala

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