The introduction of the Listening To This Week weekly playlist was a marked departure for us and its popularity completely surprised us. It has developed an additional new audience, younger Indie audience and in some surprising areas. most notably how much of a Pop Punk following we have. Submissions for LTTW are dominated by that particular genre.
It also seemed to take us away temporarily from the Facebook groups, but we had become a little bored. It seemed to be the same people reviewing and playing the same bands. However, the direction that the likes of S.W. Lauden have shown that there is still hope and that added to a realisation that the best of what we covered are still alive and kicking and producing great albums as proved recently by The Anderson Council.
Our journey from the beginnings of Star Collector to Game Day is covered beautifully by Mick's interview with Vic Wayne here. Game Day deservedly hit the IDHAS Best Of 2021 and was an album that contained much history and happenings in the making. So I did wonder if that intensity could continue into the follow up.
The answer is yes, but there is also added versatility. There is no doubt that there is a lot of influence of The Who here. However where many who try make an album of The Who obvious, here it is more of a vibe, a style, you hear it, but it is an adaption of it, wonderfully so.
Normally in reviews, I tend to leave the best till last, here I'm gonna lead with it. You would expect me to be drawn to the Psych Pop, it is a trademark, but If We Can't Take A Joke is magnificent, a nigh on 7 minute wonder of everything that makes Psych Pop more commercial than you would believe.
It isn't just here that that genre peeps out, The Back Of Your Head goes in a similar direction, again in a melodic, more commercial way. Yet this is much more than an album of one genre. Black And Baby Blue is moody, dying to break out without ever managing it apart from a top notch Guitar solo.
Running Through The Rain as a killer riff somewhere between Alex Lifeson and Billy Duffy, Crashin' could be Free doing UK Glam Rock and Broken Butterflies benefits greatly from the joint vocal with a 70s Classic Pop Rock vibe. There is so much in the latter, it is like three songs in one.
Broken Butterflies and Halfway Home slow the tempo beautifully, particularly the Jangle on the latter, but it is the Rock we are here for to be honest. Beat it To Death is all attitude, great Pop Rock that straddles the decades with a killer solo.
Don't Have To Fold closes the album with a mastery of Power Pop, revealing how catchy the genre can be, yet still have balls. Attack, Sustain, Decay... Repeat is a rockier Star Collector affair, you deserve at least that. Star Collector are a band that keep on giving without ever compromising their integrity. Highly Reccomended!
You can listen to and buy the album here.