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Starbenders – Love Potions review

Label – Sumerian Records

Released – Out Now

Band Members:

Kimi Shelter – Vocals\Guitar

Chris Tokaji – Guitar

Aaron Lecesne – Bass

Emily Moon – Drums

Tracklisting:

  1. Hangin’ On Tonight
  2. Getting Harder
  3. Precious (feat. Remington Leith)
  4. Holy Mother
  5. Bitches Be Witches
  6. London
  7. Push
  8. Never Gonna Die
  9. Cover Me
  10. Can’t Cheat Time
  11. Coming Up Roses
  12. Down & Out
  13. Something Ain’t Right
  14. One Of Us

 

Starbenders are definitely trying their best to get noticed. Whether they are wearing fashionable clothes in their photoshoots, talking the talk in interviews about good time Rock ‘N’ Roll or the ability to capture an audience in a live setting, Starbenders are deserving of your attention. The release of a couple of EP’s and a full length album way back in 2016 (Heavy Petting) has certainly got the ball rolling and garnered a devoted following with the bands sound being compared favourably with the likes of Heart, Fleetwood Mac and The Eurythmics.

So, album number 2 is now released and it’s about time! On first listen you can hear the time was well spent on the 14 (Yes 14) tracks however, the more the album is played, the better the songs sink into your consciousness. Album opener Hangin’ On Tonight is a straight off, in your face, statement of intent. Kimi’s distinctive vocal style/sound is a breathe of fresh air in a time when most female vocalists all sound, or try to sound, like Lzzy Hale (Halestorm). Getting Harder has an eclectic mix of punk with an 80’s AOR chorus and, surprisingly it works really well. The chorus is infectious in a good way and should be a contender for a single  release. 

Precious features Remington Leith (Singer of Fashion Art Rock Band Palaye Royale) a band Starbenders previously toured with. The longest song on the album with a curious “Please Don’t Hate Me” on the fade out and, for me, the standout track giving Guitarist Chris Tokaji (My favourite sweet Hungarian wine) a chance to approach the spotlight with a crunching sound. Holy Mother continues the flow of the album being 3 minutes of what Starbenders do best. Things slow down for the beginning of  Bitches Be Witches before the chorus kicks in and sticks around in your head for a long time.

 

London is a love song with a lyrical twist. “What better way to go than to have you eat me whole” is a line few other bands would dare to include! Push is Kimi singing at her most sultry showing how versatile her amazing voice is and also proving the band are willing to explore different sounds within the album. Never Gonna Die, Cover Me, Can’t Cheat Time are songs carrying on the theme of the album and showing how good the musicianship of the band is. Album closer One Of Us is perfect to finish with, leaving the listener wanting more. A slightly melancholy feel to the song but not out of place in any way.

Of course the best place to hear these songs and experience the band is in a live setting which, hopefully, we can all experience sooner rather than later.

Love Potions took me completely by surprise. The album is superb from beginning to end with no fillers at all. From the beautiful and ranging voice of Kimi and the musicality of the guitars, drums and bass, this album is proof the future of Rock ‘N’ Roll is in safe hands with the next generation. When the band visits the UK, I will be front row happy in the knowledge their music appeals to all.

Score 9/10

 

Reviewer – Simon Kneller

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