Released by: Melodic Passion Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Hard Rock
3. Tears Never Dry
4. I Die For You
6. Black Moon Rising
7. Renegade Jenny
8. Just A Stranger
9. Word Up (We All Bleed Red)
STARMEN from Norrtälje/Uppsala, Sweden are back with a fantastic new album titled Starmenized. Inspired by KISS and everything 70s/80s Hardrock oriented, STARMEN kick off their new album with a superb faster uptempo melodic heavy rocker in the style of very early YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and RAINBOW. Vocally guitarist/lead singer RED STARMAN sounds a lot like JEFF SCOTT SOTO, while lead guitarist PURPLE STARMAN shreds like the best 80s guitarists. The other 2 members in the band form the rhythm section, which consists of drummer SILVER STARMAN and bassist GOLD STARMAN. Although all 4 of them also sing lead on 1 or more songs on the album (just like the old KISS), red sings most of the songs.
As you will notice when seeing the names and the frontcover of their new album, the band has secret identities and are just like KISS hiding their faces behind Starman masks, although I think it concerns musicians from well-known Swedish bands (NARNIA, THE POODLES…). The cartoonized pictures of the band members and their adventures inside the CD booklet is giving them this cool 70s THIN LIZZY kinda touch. Musically speaking they are more leaning towards the 80s, which can be heard very clearly on the DEF LEPPARDish midtempo Hardrock anthem Rockstar.
Tears Never Dry is basically KISS – PAUL STANLEY circa Animalize, so uptempo melodic hard rock in classic mid 80s style. In the beginning of the song there is this DAVID COVERDALE WHITESNAKE touch, also vocally, but the catchy pre-chorus and chorus are pure KISS circa Tears Are Falling. Anyway, it is a superb song with once again a lovely soaring guitar solo. The CD continues with I Die For You, a superb mid-tempo melodic rocker in the WHITESNAKE – Is This Love style and as already mentioned, Red has a really fantastic voice that perfectly suits the 80s Hardrock of STARMEN, but as already mentioned also the other members sing and are doing a good job as well. The uptempo Radioactive is a very catchy melodic rocker with once again a lovely 80s memorable chorus that could easily fit a cartoon theme tune of the 80s! Also fans of NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA will go nuts when hearing this terrific tune!
The album continues with Black Moon Rising, another pure KISS rocker, a song that PAUL STANLEY wishes he could still create, let alone sing! Renegade Jenny is another big time 80s party anthem with a huge chorus to sing-along to. Just A Stranger follows the same route, Word Up is a little weaker in a VAN HALEN style and Starmenized closes the album in a fine mid-tempo 80s DEF LEPPARD direction.
Although the first part of the CD is showing the band at their best, it is nevertheless a great record. There are numerous melodic hard/rock bands in Sweden at the moment, but STARMEN might belong to one of the best and most diverse right now.
Written by: Gabor Kleinbloesem
Ratings: Gabor 8/10