Epic, scary, sexy. If good things come in threes, then Star Scream’s latest album is a very good thing. The wittily titled ‘Sexploitation’ oozes ingenuity from the cover. Song titles themselves have been hilariously crafted to add macabre twists to familiar themes, with song names like ‘Harlot’s Web’ and ‘Frightmare’ sounding more like B-movie horrors, than well-crafted music. But it’s this amusing and playful tone that can be heard throughout the record.
It opens with the romantically titled ‘Roseblood’, bringing in Tim Burton-esque strings and melodies, like the soundtrack to a mad circus. From there the show only gets better. What’s striking is the control and order to all the chaos, with layers of instruments and noises working in harmony to create individual works of art. Despite being a three-piece band, Star Scream bring the energy attributed to larger bands in terms of both talent and manpower.
Songs like ‘Break The Night’ boast their unique style; a scary and sexy number with whispers and romantic lyrics, drizzled with deep guitar tones and orchestral hums. Scenester charges in with a faster pace and heavier feel, building up to an epic finale, assuring most of you will be moshing your way through its last minute of space rock. ‘As The Earth Dies Screaming’ is exactly as apocalyptic and terrifying as it sounds, but hopefully the end of the world sounds this good. The longest track on the album, the track is crafted to balance all the variety and ingenuinity Star Scream has to offer, with screamed lyrics, emotional guitar solos and blasting drums beats all battling for your ears attention.
‘Heart Of Ice’ is a typical ode to broken love, but done so well. This song would feel right at home on radio stations; laced with soppy lyrics and a slow drum beat, call this the guilty pleasure of the album, it’s the kind of song you’d put on a mix CD for an ex (and probably have them come running back). ‘When Crimson Lips Spell Murder’ starts with some catchy chords and words, with “Time is a broken glass and the memory shatters so fast” becoming embedded in your brain forevermore. Compared to the rest of the album this sounds completely different; Star Scream’s romantic and dark tones are still present, but the sound shifts from loud and proud to subtle and simple, a sudden change, but one that works very well. It all ends with ‘The Girl Who Was Death’, an acoustic cool-down that leaves you hovering your finger over the replay button, breaking down to the bare bones of Star Screams music and talent. Wonderfully written and endlessly fun and original, Sexploitation is a killer album that is brave enough to try a bit of everything and shove it right in your face. Just don’t try explaining the title to your nan.