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Starcrazy - Played For Suckers Award winner

Played For Suckers
by Mike McMahan at 17 January 2021, 11:52 AM

On the Nights With Alice Cooper radio show, the good MR. COOPER said of STARCRAZY, the four piece band out of Australia, that they were “Retro Glam with a hint of RUSH”. I have never been one to disagree with his colorful, and often hilarious, radio banter; and in this case, I can somewhat see where he is going with his statement. Somewhat… Marcus Fraser does have a vocal style not unlike Geddy Lee, and the remainder of the band are very adept musicians. For me, that would be where any comparison to the Canadian superpower would end.

What we do have in STARCRAZY is an incredibly youthful and exuberant band who are obviously influenced by some of the seventies and eighties Glam Rock icons. In their music, I hear influences from a wide and varied group of artists, ranging from early David Bowie and T REX, all the way to seminal pop punk pioneers CHEAP TRICK. They seem, much like Robin Zander and Rick Nielson, to have a sense of humor about their work, which is something sadly missing from a lot of younger artists these days.

“Played For Suckers” is the first release from these guys. It is a six song EP; and follows the release of their single “Long Way Home”, which it also contains. The band is tight, talented and destined to be a great; providing they keep their focus and continue putting out music like this. “Rise”, piling in at just under two minutes, is a nifty instrumental that leads directly into the multi-dimensional “Taking Down The Brutes”. This song is a gem, with an introduction like something from RUSH’S “Grace Under Pressure” (Wait a minute, did we not cover this? Sorry, Alice.) firing into a frantic verse. It features time signature changes, some great lyrical songwriting ability, and an overall punch that was somewhat unexpected, going in. The musicianship is great across the board, as is the production quality, which is sadly not always the case with such a youthful, independent release.

The aforementioned “Long Way Home” follows; and features more great songwriting and solid musical hooks. A fantastic, albeit short, guitar solo from Odin Wolf follows a whistled refrain, and offers a glimpse at the potential brilliance of these guys. The remainder of the EP is equally good, from the heavier feel of “Disturb The Peace” to the all-out fun of “Gimme Back My Stereo” and “Not The Only One”. It is releases like this one that restore my faith in the business. I would make this an early contender for my end of year “Top 10” list. A great start.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Rise
2. Taking Down The Brutes
3. Long Way Home
4. Disturb The Peace
5. Gimme Back My Stereo
6. Not The Only One
Marcus Fraser - Vocals
Odin Wolf - Guitars
Jack Barratt - Bass
Jack Farmer - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 09 March 2021

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