A year ago, L.A. upstarts Starcrawler (viz. Arrow de Wilde, Austin Smith, Henri Cash & Tim Franco) were hailed as the new rock n roll saviours. Their eponymous debut marked them out as serious purveyors of the new rock n roll magic, evoking the likes of Black Sabbath, the Stooges and the Runaways.
Well, these kids are a year older as they unleash their sophomore effort Devour You on an unsuspecting world. Songs like “Lizzy”, “Bet Your Brains” and “Home Alone” demonstrate that Starcrawler have not lost the sludgy melodic groove that made their debut so endearing.
But what would be interesting to the astute music listener is track #4, “No More Pennies”. Here Starcrawler channel the more countrified aspects of the Rolling Stones circa early 70s! Now that’s a new rock n roll education for the boys and girls. Definitely, the song is an exciting development in Starcrawler’s evolution.
That specific songwriting vibe is not revisited till almost the tail end of the album with “Born Asleep”. Henri Cash’s slide guitars his way round an impassioned Arrow de Wilde vocal that once again evokes a country-folk approach that is most welcome.
Another slightly out of character exercise arrives with “Rich Taste” – a driving mid tempo rocker that builds up in intensity like a Nirvana song. Something in that Cash’s guitar and de Wilde’s voice merits that comparison. Not necessarily a bad thing.
Elsewhere, the band gets a pop sheen to otherwise hard rocking numbers. For example, “Hollywood Ending”, “She Gets Around” and “Tank Top” will ensure the attention of the radio (or Spotify playlists). Again, more proof that Starcrawler might have more in their creative tank that was obvious when they first broke.
The closing “Call Me a Baby” totally nails this assessment with a electrified country-folk stomper. De Wilde rants “Cry baby cry/Put a finger in your eye/If your mother isn’t home/You won’t have to tell a lie” like a Lennonesque dervish.
So let Starcrawler Devour You now, you know you want to. Available at all digital platforms now.
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… still there’s more …