Starsick System – ‘Lies, Hope And Other Stories’ (Pride And Joy) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David O'Neill   
Thursday, 29 June 2017 04:30

Starsick System artwork‘Lies, Hope And Other Stories’ is the new album by an Italian band called Starsick System. Originally hailing from Pordenone, north east of Venice this is their second album: their first album, ‘Daydreamin’’, in 2015 resulted in them supporting Black Label Society in Bologna in 2015. So if Zakk Wylde thought they were good enough to support him I guess I'd better give them a listen...

 

The four piece cite influences of several of my favourite contemporary bands such as Alter Bridge, (me and The Dark Queen have something in common other than taste in Nikon cameras), Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry and Halestorm there was a fair chance I was going to enjoy this.

 

The music is much more melodic than their metal roots but does not belie their influences in this genre. On first listening I was a bit flummoxed by the first track, an instrumental that sounds more like a theme tune from a space movie, called ‘Nebulous’. Next up is the first single from the album, ‘I Am The Hurricane’ which opens with a very catchy riff and solid rhythm section from bassist Valeria Battain and drummer Ivan Moni Bidin, before the vocals of Marco Sandro crash in; then there is some very intricate double kick drum work that is reminiscent of Bullet For My Valentine. A great start, with a guitar riff that is a proper ear worm you'll find difficult to remove.

 

The second track proper, ‘Bulletproof’ is a full throttle track with the rhythm skills being very well demonstrated again. The mix of instruments sit really well under the vocals and the vocal acrobatics of Sandro continue to impress. The guitar work of both Sandro and David Donati complement each other really well.

 

 

‘Sinner’ has a bit of a Green Day feel to it, especially the guitars and vocals. The drum work is superb throughout and I can see this and the next track, ‘The Promise’, going down a storm at any gig.

 

‘Scars’ is an introspective look at what makes you who you are, warts and all and what are the imperfections in any relationship. Many of the guitar riffs will grab you by the ears and say “This is who Starsick System are”. However, some will say, that reminds me of…..

 

‘Everything And More’ opens with a nice electro-acoustic riff before the track softens lyrically to a medium-paced ballad that demonstrates Sandro’s vocal range nicely. ‘Come One Come All’ is vocally about the circus and an upbeat track where the vocals get a bit lost in the driving guitar riffs and drumming.

 

It’s back to the driving upbeat guitar work and drums for the opening of ‘Perfect Lie’, with the power vocals of Sandro giving the metal feel that they have obviously practiced.   To do these tracks live I can imagine Moni Bidin would come off stage in a pool of sweat, then there's the metal guitar riff towards the end that shows the heritage of the band. ‘Hope’ is a bit more gentle, being superbly kept together by the drumming and some sweet, slightly distorted, guitar work - and there is the soft backing vocals of Battain that adds an extra dimension to the track before the outro.

 

The last track, ‘You Know My Name’ is their version of a Bond theme, which is exceptionally well done and gives Sandro his chance to give his vocal range a run: but once again all the band are extremely talented musicians.

 

My 20-year old son is a guitarist and on first listen he enjoyed it all, as did I. If they decided to tour the UK it wouldn't take much to get us to go see these guys. Their previous album is available on Spotify: I can see me checking out that one too…

 

‘Lies, Hope And Other Stories’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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