|Starseed - 'Peace Machine' (WP Records)|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Tuesday, 01 December 2009 20:05|
Over the last twelve months we've witnessed a resurgence of hair metal, a new wave of thrash metal and now grunge has reared its head once more to possibly save the day. Now if only these different genres could all play nicely amongst themselves then the music world, or more specifically my music world, would be a much happier place to be right now.
Alice In Chains having recently returned to the UK for a full tour after a ten year hiatus, having arisen like the proverbial phoenix from the flames promoting a new groundbreaking album and in doing so proving there's plenty of life in the old dogs yet, and leaving the door open in their wake for a new wave of post grungers.
But, as we are about to discover, it's not the land of Starbucks that is currently offering any significant new talent in this genre, instead we have to look closer to home with our very own contenders to the crown in Slaves To Gravity, Zico Chain and the fast rising five piece Starseed.
South African born, Starseed relocated to the UK around a decade ago as they felt the UK offered them more musical opportunities than their homeland and, after listening to their well crafted debut album 'Peace Machine', I must commend them on this decision.
Whether it's our piss poor weather conditions, the crippled economy or just good old-fashioned fish and chips that helped them fuse together such an incredible rock album, whatever the catalysts, we should all be thankful for them.
The album opens with the band's lead off single 'Shine', an exemplary number that ticks all the boxes of any rock quality inspector's checklist of quality, opening with an almost Layne Staley style vocal melody before metamorphosing into an impressive show of musicianship from the other four band members.
The album keeps its momentum over the next twelve tracks, each number being an incredible tour de force of musical excellence; from the complex drumming patterns of Andrew Spence to the dual guitar excellence of Gerald Gill and Peter Wicker, all being held together by the four finger masterwork of Dale Anderson.
The icing on the grunge cake for Starseed is the warm, soulful voice of frontman Russell Spence, a man with great abilities. Admittedly there are a few moments during the album that may remind you of your favourite vocalists, but Russell pulls this off whilst always remaining true to himself.
It's during 'Falling' and more specifically the two minute splendour of 'Pills' - a more punked up affair than the rest of the album helped by some clever use of distortion on the vocals - that the album steers itself well away from being just another run of the mill radio friendly rock album and into an album of quality, variety and depth.
'Peace Machine' ends in fine style with 'Broken Promises', an interesting number that opens with a drum pattern reminiscent of the Guns N' Roses hit 'You Could Be Mine', before developing into a more modern sounding number, not too dissimilar to Welsh wonders The Blackout or Lostprophets, before ending in a fantastic show of dual guitar wizardry that would even have the Dragonforce boys worried.
This is a compelling, well-produced debut album featuring twelve monstrous rock tracks that deserves to be listened to.
If you are a fan of the post grunge, arena sounding rock and you can only afford to buy one album this month, then I suggest you return the new Creed album to the shelf immediately and do yourself a well deserved favour and pick up a copy of 'Peace Machine' instead.