The Starling Radicals – ‘Promiseland Vol. 1’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Monday, 11 December 2017 04:40

The Starling Radicals artworkBusting out of the febrile rock ‘n’ roll breeding ground that is south Wales, where seems to be breeding quality wrecking crews faster than the local rams can inseminate herds of ewes, The Starling Radicals come with a reputation for confrontation, having literally fought Morrissey (personally, I hope they kicked the living daylights out of the twunt) and chased James Dean Bradfield through a park.  They also seem perfectly positioned to rival Spinal Tap, or some Premier League football teams, in one regard, as they have managed to make their way through eight drummers in just five years! 


Having spent most of last year frustrated and stifled by constant line-up changes, which resulted in the cathartic ‘Wasteland’ EP, TSR now seem to have settled down, with a (reasonably) stable line-up and this, the first of a duet of releases.  And it is one that certainly lives up to that above referenced reputation for confrontation, as it is a quartet of songs which is hard to ignore, just because of the sheer quality of what is on offer.


Opener ‘I’m With Her’ is a jaunty little introduction which rides somewhere between airy pop punk and the more commercial end of the Manics, with George Toulouse (now, that truly is a rock ‘n’ roll handle right there) punching heavily on both vocals and guitar: the punky main riff is catchier than Ebola and the chorus more infectious than a dose of man ‘flu.


‘You Make A Mess Of Me’ immediately twists its way into your aural cortex, spreading through your system faster than the T virus as it snarls and seduces in equal measure, surprising in its lack of a main hook but all the more attractive for the same, as it grabs you with its unpredictability.  ‘The Scottish Play’ is an outright punk beatdown, grabbing the likes of Green Day by the balls and carrying them to the nearest retirement home:  hey, Billy Joe, there are some new kids on the block and they’re gonna steal your guitars and show you how it’s done!


Closing this little slab of joy off is ‘Heart Of This City’, which has TV airplay written all over it: more melancholic and slower than what has gone before it, it nevertheless contains another criminally infectious hook that draws you in and gets your head nodding and feet tapping amidst its beautifully constructed atmospheric.


Regular UR readers will know that I’m not the Überverse’s biggest fan of pop punk, but The Starling Radicals are making me want to turn my baseball cap the wrong way ‘round and lower my sweatpants to expose my builder crack – and, believe me, that ain’t a pretty sight, as DQ will attest.


‘Promiseland Vol. 1’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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