Reviewed by Meghan Player
There’s no denying how much I still love punk rock. Having spent most of my formative teenage years, jamming as much classic and modern punk into my ears, I’m constantly surprised by how much I still love this genre – (which seems to be forever calling to my sense of nostalgia). Daydreaming aside, Stars Burn Stripes debut album landed in my lap this week, and I’m having a hard time resisting its charms.
Songs About Escapism is – from the moment it starts, to the second it ends – everything that is enjoyable about a good, punk rock record. Simple, clean-cut lyrics mixed with ferocious, hook-laden riffs that call to your inner rebel – almost challenging you to break the rules with each ensuing note.
With a sound lying somewhere between Bad Religion and Anti Flag, the album opens with Go Read A Book – and from that moment on, you never want to stop listening. The frantic melody, coupled with the furiously delivered vocals, is gloriously executed and instantly infectious.
Losing Blood sees the melody shift, but without losing the previous tracks intensity – whilst Asphalt makes an early bid for best track on the album; its refreshing melody and infectious gang-vocals grabbing at those dregs of teenage nostalgia.
Headphones wastes no time in getting to the point, a short intro exploding into a punk-tastic melody that pretty much assaults your senses. That’s all before Challenge Accepted takes its turn in the spotlight, turning up the adrenalin and octane-fuelled melodies to create one blisteringly rad tune.
Genuine is undoubtedly the black sheep of the album – and a definite risk for the band – with the almost lounge-esque sound creating a noticeable contrast to the tracks that preceded it. Which isn’t to say it isn’t a great song in its own right, more so that it feels out-of-place with its ferocious counterparts.
What About Me Now has an air of The Matches about it (think E.Von.Dahl Killed The Locals), whilst Moments absolutely nails it in terms of killer drum work. Finale, Kill The Mood is where the band manage to encapsulate elements of the previous tracks, and combine it all into one, ridiculously impressive final showdown. It’s in-your-face, it’s edgy and it’s a perfect summation of all the things that I dig about this album.
Do yourself a favour, invest in this album. Today.