This album just appeared on my doorstep one day. It was weird. Like nobody ever sends me vinyl to review and then there it was. I was stunned. Glorious vinyl from a band I have never heard of… from Adelaide! What the fuck? Bands in Adelaide still believe in vinyl? This was a good sign. I put the needle on the record and began listening. And listening. Again and again. I sat back, lit some incense, and pondered. Now, have you ever heard the likes of M83 or the Japanese band Mono? Well, if you have, there’s shades of that stuff all over this. I love Mono’s music. It’s really something on its own. Like a psychedelic experience as you listen to each record. The songs take you to another time, another place, or you could be just wasted. Regardless, Mono are freakin’ awesome. But this isn’t totally like Mono. No, this is something else entirely. So much that it took me over a month to write this review. Why? Cos I was lost for words. Trying to get my head around something like this wasn’t something I could do overnight. It takes time. And in my busy day to day schedule or making my team at work guess which 1 out of 3 statements I told was a lie, there just wasn’t enough time to put pen to paper and jot this down. But fear no more, my friends cos we’re here now and better late than never, right? Well, that’s what my ex-girlfriend used to say.
Steering By Stars play atmospheric sounds which they manage to twist, turn, unwind and repeatedly belt with a stick so that what you eventually hear is aural bliss. It’s melancholic, it’s bright, it’s sad, it’s dark, it’s lonely, it’s a mixture of emotions and feelings that somehow have transcended from wax to my brain. A band whose music makes you feel something… and with minimal vocals. Like really, most of this is instrumental and the occasional vocals you do hear remind me of the one and only, Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance fame), which is weird cos like she’s a woman and the singer here is a guy. Well, I think he is. His name is Lachlan but after the 80′s glam rock explosion sprouting names like Traci Guns, Jani Lane and Nikki Sixx, names seem to have lost their gender somewhere along the way. Still, I am thinking it’s a guy. Just a hunch.
So this album, it reminded me of a soundtrack to some fucked up Japanese movie that has lots of wind blowing in it and quite possibly lots of images of Wata from the band Boris walking along lonely streets as we see her reflection in puddles of water. How art student does that sound? Well yeah, you know what I’m saying. Yo La Tengo would be all over this shit! I really dug it. It was something different. I am never sent bands like this. I have been sent lots of rock and some really bad Nickelback type shit recently but nothing like this. Am diggin’ it. Bigtime. Would be heaps keen to see a show by these cats t0 see how the music transcends from the record to the live setting.
You want a copy? Sure you do. Head on over to www.steeringbystars.com and pick one up. And if you’re one of ‘those’ guys, it comes with a digital download card also so you can blast it on your iPod. Just sayin’.
Here’s a video for the song “Closer” so you can get a closer feel for what I am writing about.