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Starmen – By The Grace Of Rock ‘N’ Roll Award winner

By The Grace Of Rock ‘N’ Roll
by Mike McMahan at 07 March 2021, 5:47 PM

Coming to us out of Stockholm, Sweden, with their third album release in just a little over a year (the debut, “Welcome To My World”, was released February 21, 2020) is STARMEN. The debut and its follow-up, June of 2020’s “Kiss The Sky”, were both well received, critically speaking; and I am dead certain that “By The Grace Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” will be no exception. These guys play seventies and eighties style Hard Rock/Heavy Metal with a passion. The songs are well written, hook-laden and very well performed across the board.

When I was first given the assignment of writing this review, I wasn’t so certain. A look at the album art, and one would automatically assume STARMEN to be some gimmicky KISS rip-off, pandering to that audience for a quick buck. It was here that I made my mistake; and it actually worked out quite well. When I got into the music, I found an excellent set of songs.

These four gentlemen are all industry veterans, coming from a long line of past and current projects, who have a very definitive love for the Classic Rock sound. They share vocal duties, and all are equally capable behind a microphone; although Kristian Hermanson seems to be the principal “frontman” (if there is indeed a true frontman in the group). The musicianship involved is superb, filled with blazing guitar from Andreas Lindgren’s hand, and a very solid bottom end, courtesy of Marcus Sjoblom and Jonatan Samuelsson.

The title cut, “By The Grace Of Rock ‘N’ Roll”, is a great example of the four-man vocal front I was speaking of, and also solid evidence to how good the band truly is. The song itself is very crisp and melodic, and obviously inspired by some of the more radio-friendly works of KISS. The vocal is truly shared, with all four taking lines in the verses. “Kairi” follows, and is a slice of Pop Metal perfection, where “Black Thunder White Lightning” has an opening riff and some guitar fills that instantly put me in mind of the Maestro, Ritchie Blackmore.

This record is good; and try as I might to go the other direction, I absolutely loved it. Don’t let the gimmick fool you. These boys are really extraordinarily good.

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

5 Star Rating

1.Shining Star
2.By The Grace Of Rock ‘N’ Roll
4.Black Thunder White Lightning
5.Kisses Of An Enemy
8.People’s Parade
9.Bad Habit
10.Hotter Than Fire
11.Angel’s Crying (Bonus Track)
12.Shining Star Voice Outro (Bonus Track)
Kristian Hermanson (Red Starman) – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Marcus Sjoblom (Silver Starman) – Drums, Vocals
Andreas Lindgren (Purple Starman) – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Jonatan Samuelsson (Gold Starman) – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Melodic Passion Records


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Edited 20 March 2023

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