Okay, this is one of my favorite finds of 2016, no doubt. Starchild with their self-titled debut album, are one of those bands that you wish you were in. Well, at least I do. I first encountered Starchild when I was on the TwinEarthRecords website. I remember listening to two tracks “The Futurist” and “Wings” and I was completely blown away. When I told Ric Bennet – who owns that label – how much I liked what I heard, he shared with me that it was actually his band, meaning he played guitar in it and sang. That made it even more interesting.
‘Starchild’ is one of those records where words simply fail me to adequately describe it, or let alone, do an even remotely meaningful review on. However, I guess what I just said in term being a little envious and wishing that I could write and play music like that – in a band like that – pretty much sums up my admiration for this album and its makers.
Here is a quick video review of ‘Starchild’:
There is zero ambiguity on this record. I realize this is a rather abstract statement but what I’m trying to describe is the omnipresent authenticity, clarity and straight-forwardness that I as a listener immediately picked up on. Sometimes, a record can be a little muddy, incoherent and ‘sloppy’ – and there’s nothing wrong with that, some of the best albums ever produced are like that. In contrast, though, Starchild’s approach to song writing, execution and production leaves no room for guessing. Ric Bennet on vocals/guitar, Frank Sikes on drums and Kenneth O’Bara on bass are in full control over their material and it seems that they exactly knew where they wanted to go with their first release.
What the band managed to do remarkably well is keeping a healthy balance between creating an unambiguous record without being at risk of sounding sterile. Starchild elegantly combines Psychedelic, Heavy-Rock, Doom and Stoner elements which eliminates the potential for dull moments. The 8 tracks on the album work equally well when you listen to them individually or alternatively as sequential ‘chapters’ of the ‘story’, i.e. the album.
So, to wrap this up, my point is that I need to listen to this album. Unless you are already familiar with the band the material, I’m almost positive that you’ll be pleasantly surprised, at the very least. This is one of those gems that I was lucky enough to ‘discover’. Well, I’m very glad that I did.
Here are a few links to the band, merchandise and the label: