Star Fucking Hipsters

Never Rest In Peace

Written by: PP on 22/01/2010 21:47:10

Star Fucking Hipsters is the side project of legendary crust-punk / ska punk band Leftöver Crack's vocalist Stza, which is all you really need to know to establish how the band sounds like. They put out their debut album "Until We're Dead" back in 2008, a loyalist re-interpretation of the much loved Leftöver Crack sound with an extra bit of melody to justify a melodicore reference, and barely a year passed by before the band was ready with another disc, "Never Rest In Peace". So yeah, the guys (and a girl) seem able to convert ideas into actual songs rather quickly, and actually, slowing down a notch would do wonders for the band, because "Never Rest In Peace" suffers from precisely the same problem as the debut album: it's just too damn inconsistent. But hang onto that thought for a while, and lets start with looking at the what's different on their second offering.

While the band never really overloaded on ska-punk in the first place, the new album sees fewer tracks that can be considered strictly ska. "The Civilization Show" is one of the few entries with a characteristic ska-beat; elsewhere the band has turned the post-gain knob up to 13 in comparison to the debut album, there's a whole lot more raw distortion supporting the gritty melody all around, and in general the sound leans much more towards hardcore punk and street punk. Additionally, Stza has mellowed out a bit in terms of screaming, now opting for a whiskey-drenched / smoked delivery a lá Dillinger Four's lead vocalist instead. It fits the band way better, actually, especially when he teams up with the pissed-off female vocalist for the brilliantly alternating vocal lines. When they get it right, the energy between the two really comes across well - so well that it wouldn't be unheard of to call these tracks some of the catchiest hardcore punk out there. There's just something awesome about the melodic female vocals dueling against the sharp, scream-ey male ones; check out "Design" and "Heaven (With Degenerics)" and you'll be singing along before you even reach the end of the first chorus in both tracks.

"Severance Pay" and "Dreams Are Dead" are two other seriously strong tracks, but that's about it for "Never Rest In Peace". The rest of the songs just aren't as explosive or melodic as this bunch, leaving the listener scratching his head over what to think about them. The band's output essentially feels like searching for oil in Saudi Arabia by throwing a stick randomly in different directions and digging below the spot it lands on; all too often you'll come up short, but every now and then you hit the jackpot by accident. "Until We're Dead" had a couple of amazing tracks ("Immigrants And Hypocrites" comes to mind), but it also lacked consistency just like "Never Rest In Peace" does. Now if the best songs were combined from the two, I'd have no doubt in my mind that this one would be a 9/10 release, a classic even. So lets hope the band catches a breather and takes a little more time before releasing another album, maybe then we'll get a full length of only songs like "Design"; in that case, sky's not the limit.

Download: Design, Heaven (With Degenerics), Severance Pay
For the fans of: Leftöver Crack, Anti-Flag, NOFX
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.10.2009
Alternative Tentacles

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