Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Ciao, Baby" by theSTART

When my friend Trey and I were in Denver we hit a few Hot Topic stores. At one store they were not playing the usual thrashy, growly music and I was liking what I was hearing. It was a band called theSTART and it was their new album, Ciao, Baby!. I had to have it.

I ordered it from Amazon.com and got it yesterday and I listened to it 5 times in a row (this is unusual for me). I love it. For me it is instantly accessable and catchy without being trite, already-done, or simplistic. theSTART is neo-80's new-wave/punk. When I first heard them I immediately thought of electro-goth duo Collide (Collide is much darker and has an industrial, rather than new-wave, flavor, and they also utilize middle-eastern tones). After a few listens I now think that its better to describe theSTART as a mash of Garbage, No Doubt (for vocals and pep), Goldfrapp, and Siouxsie & the Banshees. Funny enough, theSTART has opened and toured with Garbage and the Birthday Massacre as well as Front Line Assembly, all bands I think they can relate to and all bands I like.

The use of digital bass, heavy and buzzing, is reminiscent of Goldfrapp and middle-era Garbage. The vocals and plucky guitars are punk influenced. Some of their atmospheric keyboards/guitar is reminiscent of 80's Blondie and Siouxsie & the Banshees. The vocalist, Aimee Echo, sounds similar to Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons, according to my musically encyclopedic sister. Or for you non-80's folks, reminiscent of a raspy Gwen Steffani (No Doubt), as far as vocal dynamics and range.

The whole album is a highlight but if I have to pick a few "must-listen" tracks, they'd be:
Wartime - Goldfrappish, modern beats, off-kilter catchyness
Runaway - catchy, singalong, frentic 80's punk
Blood On My Hands - attitude, catchy, definite early punk vein in the guitars/vocals, lovely rasp
Dance Revolution - dark, boiled down. Sounds like a Siouxsie & The Banshees song with Gwen Steffani lyrics/beats thrown in

Positive with attitude, light enough to be a great summer album with dark enough 80's threads to make it good for the turning seasons (if you find your music seasonal, which a lot of mine is - no B-52's in the winter, sorry). Love it. :D

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