Friday, July 26, 2013

Star & Dagger, Tomorrowland Blues

Star and Dagger
Tomorrowland Blues
Reviewed by Rob Acocella
Rating: 3/5

Star and Dagger is the latest endeavor of White Zombie bass player Sean Yseult along with her friends Dava She Wolf and Von Hesseling. Their first offering is Tomorrowland Blues, a Blues Rock album with some Rockabilly flavors.

"In My Blood" and "End of Days" have a strong presence to start the album off but things get very slow, and dare I even say, boring, with "Selling My Things." "Side Winding" brings the groove back with a great Grunge inspired opening bass line and the song holds up with mid-tempo rhythm and some great vocal harmonies.  "Your Money" brings them into a little bit of a heavier range and a little bit of a darker vocal delivery before diving into another bass-heavy track with "Used To Me." The album closes with "Your Mama Was A Grifter" which I'm honestly not too crazy about.

I'll admit I'm a tough critic as this gritty style of Blues Rock isn't exactly my favorite genre to begin with. That's not to say I can't recognize talent when it's there, and these three women clearly have it, I just have lukewarm feelings about what they put together this time around. I think the first thing that really threw me was that they are labeled a Blues-Rock/Metal group, and when I listen to this collection of songs, I have to be honest, but I just don't hear the Metal at all. Being a White Zombie fan, I suppose I went into this with certain expectations, and I already know that's wrong of me. All in all, though, it's not a bad album, and I'm sure fans of the genre will like it a lot more than I did. I feel like there is great potential in this group but they just need to bring a little more energy and variety to the table. The Blues vocals and dense guitar and bass layers are really great, it's just missing that bite, or edge, that would really give it a larger presence. In fact, the vocals remind me a lot of Shirley Manson of Garbage.

Overall, I gave Tomorrowland Blues a 3/5, because while I'm not a huge fan, I do know that it's well done and the songs are well written, and I can't take away points just because it's not my personal favorite style of music when there is an obviously large amount of talent and potential.

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