KillerStar debuts with Bowie-esque splendor

KillerStar debuts with Bowie-esque splendor
Photo cred: Jimmy King

There have been few rock geniuses since the genre’s inception — and we can argue all day who in fact qualifies within this elite 1%. But I’m sure most would agree that David Bowie places somewhere near the top. Although this musician has left this planet for his next transmission, his legacy lives on through the next generation of psychedelic rock. Take, for instance, The Flaming Lips — where would they be without Beatles or Bowie? Another prime example is Tame Impala, topping the charts over the past decade with his innovative twist on what stemmed from the 70s.

New to the scene is KillerStar, with almost too many influences to count merging into something quite novel and extraordinary.

Formed by Rob Fleming (vocals, guitars, synths) and James Sedge (drums), the UK group has since employed the backing vocals of Emm Gryner and — we kid you not — actual members of David Bowie‘s band: Earl Slick, Gail Ann Dorsey, and Mike Garson. Talk about the ultimate tribute to the genre of modern psychedelia!

With this supergroup of players in place, Fleming and Sedge has just released their musical debut in the form of an 8-track LP, available as of March 1st both digitally and on vinyl. Considering the album is a 21st Century space odyssey extracted together from sounds of the past, we highly recommend splurging for the record version!

Starting with “Should’ve Known Better”, KillerStar welcomes you into the tormented mind of unreality, where no one is who they seem. With synthy reverberations around ethereal harmonizations, lyrics like “no time to think about it // you know you’ve gone too far” emit deception and deceit as a result of naïveté. Hindsight is always 20/20, but how can we see someone’s true colors before it’s too late? Following this same motif, are two tracks farther along in the album, “You’re a Chameleon” and a song literally titled “Too Late”. The latter accuses and laments “you tore me apart // should’ve known right from the start”, while the former (with more of a rock-and-roll feel) begs for authenticity with someone constantly “shifting and changing all the time”.

Authenticity is a theme throughout, which — in theory — is the true quest of youth.

You is real? Who is fake? Who am I, adrift in the sea of never-ending stimuli and suggestions? Questions like these are brought to the forefront in “Feel It”, asking, “are you too cool to break a smile?… Why must you always be this way?” In this age of social media, who is who they say they are? Why are we always putting on a front? Just be real… just BE. In order to read between the lines of the human condition, you must first learn the hard way, through relationships that lead nowhere.

In a six-minute-and-56-second effort to break on through to the other side, KillerStar ends the album on a lighter note. Puncturing through the façade of false impressions and phony personas is “Falling Through”, with the addition of a smooth saxophone to guide listeners through the inner psyche. With a lighter tonality, KillerStar implies that it’s okay if people “Got Me All Wrong”; you can always change the narrative and it’s T-minus time to launch. Time to “Go (Hold On Tight)”.

This ingenious debut emanates confidence, with sparkling keys, bass-forward rhythms, and loads of synth. If you’re looking for existential answers, this album might just be your saving grace. Be sure to follow KillerStar via the links below.

KillerStar – “Got Me All Wrong”

Stream ‘KillerStar’ album on Spotify:

Cover photo by Jimmy King

Links: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

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