Record Review: Sweet Starchild Speaks
Think about all the shitty music you’ve had to listen to, and all the horrible shows you’ve had to see, just because you were trying to support a friend. We’ve all been there. Hell, most of us live in a perpetual state of there-ness. Our creative friends look to us for smiles and nods when they ask if we like a song they wrote, or if we would please come to a show at a club we’d rather not go to. And what do we get for it? A whole lot of unmemorable experiences and wasted time we could have spent pursuing our own creative endeavors. Hell, instead of listening to your friend’s shitty band you could be blogging about your friend’s shitty band, right!?
So you can imagine my trepidation last week when a friend — and regular reader of this website — sent me a note asking if he could ship me a copy of his new CD to review. Oh, man. It’s bad enough telling people who write you e-mails or Facebook messages that you only run like, five record reviews a year. It’s even harder when the person requesting a favor is a friend. He and I spoke about it, and my sense of dread quickly dissipated, only to be replaced by an intense desire to obtain this recording. Check it. In the man’s own words:
The premise is this: we recorded a CD and are calling it/us Sweet Starchild. Now, the concept of Kiss tribute bands has been done to death. We all know this. But we only cover Paul Stanley’s song intros, culled from bootleg MP3’s. The result is 27:25 of heartfelt pleas of rock and roll domination but delivered to a soundtrack of crickets (and other surprises), that feels really outside in a way you can dig.
Yeah, I was psyched. The CD arrived last week and I took it around at work telling everybody about it and playing clips for them. It’s fucking unreal, guys. Not only is that first track the 27:25 of complete Paul Stanley “Give me a few seconds and I’m gonna sell you on this next song” absurdity that was promised, but on the CD track 2 is track 1 reversed. Those 55-minutes of screaming and hollering do more to harness the power and intensity of ROCK ‘N ROLL than playing any music EVER could! And you’d think after a while it would wear you out, or get boring, but since the guys mimicking Paul remain as heartfelt about it as Paul likely did all those times he reached deep inside himself for a little something extra for the fans, it just gets BETTER as it goes along. When somebody screams at you for that amount of time without relent, at some point it starts to affect you in ways you’d never expect. You start to probe each affirmation or request or command or joyous hurrah for its deeper meaning. You travel the full spectrum of human emotions and delicately tread the line between simple listening skills and our innate thirst for understanding. From “Why does Paul want this place to burn hotter than hell?” to “I used to have dreams of being in a rock’n’roll band, too!” to “HOW CAN I DO MY PART!? I WANT TO BE THE BEST KISS ARMY SOLDIER I CAN BE!”
The front cover apes the original artwork for Rock And Roll Over, and the back cover is a newly designed Paul Stanley paint by numbers. Its directions are simple: “1. Paint #1 black 2. paint #2 white 3. paint #3 gray 4. paint #4 red 5. rock’n’roll 6. party, 7. you people are beautiful.”
Sweet Starchild Speaks. It’s out there, man. Truly, as the label’s website proclaims, it is the ultimate party CD for the ultimate never-ending rock party. Now available on CD or cassette via Lion’s Care Recordings
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