Kiss The Sky

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(Melodic Passion Records, 2020)

Karakter: 3.5/6

Starmen_Kiss The Sky.jpgI've never got around to hearing the debut album "Welcome To My World" (notabene, released earlier THIS horrible year) but if it was anything like, this here, follow-up (coming out only a few months after the debut), I haven't lost much. The Stockholm, Swedish quartet, featuring Kristian "Starmen Red" Hermanson (rhythm guitar, vocals), Andreas "Starmen Purple" Lindgren (lead guitar, vocals), Örjan "Starmen Gold" Wahlström (bass, vocals), Marcus "Starmen Silver" Sjöblom (drums, vocals) ("Reservoir Dogs" much?) presents a fusion of hard rock and Arena Oriented Rock with a little blues thrown in, but, while their skills are never in question, the songwriting leaves much to be desired.

The major problem I have with "Kiss The Sky" (most likely an allusion to the famous lyric in James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix's "Purple Haze") is that the songs seem mostly haphazardly put together, without a clear verse/chorus structure. That would be perfectly okay in progressive metal but this is hard rock and ARENA oriented rock so we need hooks and melody and riffs catchy as COVID-19 in China last March (too soon?) whereas when we do get them in the highlights (Dangerous) they are a little too close for comfort for the German disco/pop duo Modern Talking (and their "Sweet Little Sheila") and Boney.M's "Gotta Go Home" (Gravity). Why we needed another cover of Robert Allen "Bob Dylan" Zimmerman's "All Along The Watchtower", to compete with Hendrix's and U2's versions, is anyone's guess but at least it's serviceable and, besides, it highlights the fantastic production. The title track is unashamedly pure Led Zeppelin on Def Leppard (also true of "Dangerous" in addition to aforementioned Modern Talking chorus). The Middle Eastern "A Thrill Ride" is a breath of fresh air even if does remind me of Megadeth's "Insomnia" (one of "Risk"'s more ambitious tracks), as is the Red Hot Chili Pepperred closer "A Magical Ride" where a man will appreciate a nice female orgasm right before the conclusion of the album.

Overall, the 2nd album from Starmen is a mediocre affair, despite the quality production. I'd call it disappointing except I had no expectations to be let down. I doubt I will be interested in hearing more from these guys should they continue in this direction


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