Stars Burn Stripes

Songs About Escapism

Written by: PP on 11/08/2014 22:11:38

The punk scene in Denmark is practically nonexistent compared to our neighboring Sweden which is afloat with bands in virtually all subgenres within punk rock. But even though we only have a handful of bands at most in Denmark, the ones that we do have tend to put out quality releases that can contend on the European landscape (see: The 20Belows, Mighty Midgets, Kill The Rooster, Stream City, etc). One of these bands is Stars Burn Stripes, whose long-awaited debut full length "Songs About Escapism" finally saw release this summer via 5Feet Under Records. Its preceding EPs already showcased promise with a few extremely catchy tracks in between the snarly vocal delivery of vocalist Lasse Mikkelsen and the ripping guitar work of Brian Binksby, but the debut album takes it all a step further and improves in all departments of their arsenal.

For starters, the record was mastered at the Blasting Room, which means it sounds amazing in terms of its production values. The tearing guitar riffs recall NOFX from their mid 90s to early 2000s material, balancing between skate punk and hardcore-rooted punk rock, with a few hints at Rise Against-ish material in between, especially because of the crisp and crystal clear manner they resonate in the mix. The vocals are still yelled and on the aggressive end of the spectrum, but if you've ever liked Anti-Flag there's no reason you wouldn't accept Lasse's particular yelling/singing style as well. At the same time, the latter has been toned down from the EPs somewhat, so many songs have a distinct sing along feel instead of the melodic hardcore rooted expression that occasionally hindered the band's potential in the past. "Moments" is a great example; it's the best song the band has written to date with its alternating vocal lines and an absolutely irresistible chorus melody that demands a gang sing along straight away. The guitars melodies are slick and catchy, and generally the song is closer to pop punk than the melodic hardcore origins of this band.

Likewise, "Asphalt" starts with shredded, yet melodic guitars that lead into another catchy verse-chorus combination. "Challenge Accepted" is also highlight reel track with a solid chorus that demands a sing along. "Genuine" follows through immediately after with a slower tempo, which is again perfect for bringing forth a sing along melody despite the snarled delivery of the vocals. In between the highlights you have upbeat punk rockers with solid melodies, some more aggressive than others. Together, the collection of songs is the best material Stars Burn Stripes have written so far, and something that can propel the band across the European skate punk scene with some exposure to the right audiences. Who knows, maybe even a FEST performance is in the books one day? Now we just need another album out within the next year or two.


Download: Moments, Challenge Accepted, Genuine
For the fans of: Rise Against, Anti-Flag, NOFX
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.07.2014
5Feet Under Records

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