Stardeath And White Dwarfs – [Album]

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Ever have one of those moments when you thought you heard something but, because the context and surroundings in which you heard it just seemed so far off, your brain recoiled and you disregarded it as being a figment of your imagination? Listening to The Birth is something like that. Walking in, you know that Stardeath And White Dwarfs is a band comprised of former members of the Flaming Lips' road crew and the voice involved belongs to Wayne Coyne's nephew, Dennis. A cursory glance at any copy of The Birth reveals that both Stardeath and Flaming Lips also happen to share a record label as well as (clearly) a similar taste in album cover artwork and design. With all of this information in hand – without even hearing s single note on the record – you've already begun to develop an idea of what to expect from Stardeath And White Dwarfs as you press play on your stereo.

Almost instantly, you'll discover how wrong you were and how much of your thought process is based on a syllogism.

From the very first laden groove of “The Sea Is On Fire,” listeners expecting Flaming Lips Redux will be floored by the methodical pacing, herbally assisted songwriting and Stardeath's obviously more classic rock-informed arrangements and style. The bracing stomp and great big guitar solos of songs like “New Heat” as well as the brazen pop of “Keep Score” all smack of the Seventies and make hay with that design over any sort of wilful step to create a new musical vocabulary.

In other words, Stardeath And White Dwarfs bear about as much similarity to Flaming Lips as a lemur does to a lemon.

Far more stoned and complacent than Flaming Lips (who tend to be – shall we say – more chemically elated), The Birth continues along generic lines that fuse a host of sounds typically associated with smoking up and getting mellow (including, but not limited to, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys and Tee Pee Records' entire roster) and, while the group never accelerates beyond a content meander, it does come up with some pretty wild and interesting combinations. In the title track, “I Can't Get Away” and “The Age Of The Freak,” for example, the band sets up an unsettlingly slick and seamless amalgam of gee-whiz-and-wow level classic rock guitar god histrionics, electro-weed space rock (which comes into better focus on “Smoking Pot Makes Me Know Want To Kill Myself”) and rhythm & blues that is totally unexpected and genuinely senses-shattering; by combining such well-worn sounds as they do here, Stardeath And White Dwarfs arrive at a mixture that is uniquely their own and, while the Flaming Lips do exist in the periphery of the band's vision, they don't lean on that and the songs handily stand on their own. If Stardeath And White Dwarfs can continue operating in the fashion they do here – that is, not succumbing to a very easy route to success via coattail-riding – they might be on to something. The Birth illustrates that they are capable of standing on their own merit with a completely unique and compelling sound, all they have to do now is keep it up.


Stardeath And White Dwarfs Online

Stardeath And White Dwarfs myspace

The Birth is out now and available here on Amazon .

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