CD review: Star of 59
CD title: Welcome To The End
2. Gas Chamber
3. Welcome To The End
Review by JAMES LEWIS
Cardiff-based Star of 59 made this recording in the Autumn of 2006, but as they’ve only recently been brought to my attention (and I liked what I heard) I felt it was worthy of a write up.
Opening track ‘Farseer’ pounds out of the speakers like a Therapy? song going full steam ahead, but before there’s even any sign of vocals I’m taken on a whistle-stop tour of their influences. The feisty duel guitars suggest Metallica et al followed by a sprinkle of Muse; but the stabbing, staccato guitars in the verse is like ska-punk at its best. Some may be critical of this barrage of musical variances, and that’s down to your personal tastes, but in my opinion Star of 59 pull it off very well.
Star of 59 list fellow South-Waleans Manic Street Preachers amongst their influences and you get a feeling of their self-professed alienation when listening to second song ‘Gas Chamber’, vocalist/guitarist Liam Collins singing- “You’re a million miles away from me/and all that we stood for.” It all suggests they have an important agenda behind their music.
Somewhere between this CD being recorded and the present day, Star of 59 parted with bassist/backing vocalist Rhys Bryant, so it’d be interesting to see how this affects their live sound, with the songs on this CD making good use of Liam fellow guitarist Matthew Burgess’ guitar skills and putting backing vocals to great effect on the chorus of ‘Gas Chamber’.
By the chorus of final track ‘Welcome To The End’, Liam Collins has developed a Liam Gallagher-esque snarl/rasp to his singing which is not to my liking, but the enthusiasm, musicianship and songwriting skills displayed by the band make you feel they certainly have something to offer the UK’s current music scene and would make a pleasant change from the jingly-jangly guitars you get from many of the current crop of UK bands.
A band I’d describe as vibrant and exciting, Star of 59 can be seen live in the following places;
17 Jan 2009 Oxjam BOB Newport
8 Feb 2009 Live and Unsigned @ St George’s Bristol
21 Mar 2009 Le Pub Supporting Dave Mcpherson (INME) Newport
27 Mar 2009 Oxjam Newport/Cardiff
25 Jul 2009 The Usk Music festival Usk
23 Nov 2009 Oxjam Newport
If you wish to know more about Star of 59, check out
www.myspace.com/starof59 or www.starof59.com, which they kindly inform us is under construction but due to be re-launched soon.