In an interview we did with Eric Singer once upon a time he told us the cliché “everything in rock is stolen”. In The Starmen’t case I’d say “borrowed”.
The band is based on the fundamentals of glam/hard rock and the raspy voice of the lead singer Kristian Hermanson is identical to KISS’s Paul Stanley. And since all of them have a big star painted on their faces you jump to the assumption “these guys copy KISS”… that’s what I thought in the beginning. Big mistake!
The foursome beats more of the bands in the genre with its pure, honest and impressive hard rock in the style of their heroes, who aren’t just KISS, but also Led Zeppelin, Rainbow, maybe Talisman. The album’s biggest advantage is its variety in colors and sounds. It’s not just a melodic rock album, although there are hundreds of moments like it. It got balls and energy that comes straight from the ‘70s. An important role to that plays guitarist Starman Purple (Andreas Lindgren) who plays like a God, changing his style and 6 strings sound almost in every song.
“Pleasuredome” is shamelessly built around “Khasmir”’s melody, while there is a passage identical to the melody of Rainbow’s “Gates Of Babylon”. On “Spaceplane” -that I am sure Night Flight Orchestra would be jealous of- you can trace more Blackmore with “I Surrender” in the song’s beginning. But, I am not writing all that to tell you that Starmen copied those very popular songs. They’d be too naïve to do so and think that they would get away with it. Far from it, these guys managed to filter those influences and come up with something of their own.
The album is unpredictable and surprises you when you listen to it, every time you give it a spin you might discover something new. That doesn’t happen too often nowadays. It brings in mind times and artists who didn’t care about trends and tags and followed their inspiration. The title track sounds like it’s coming straight from the ‘70s, while the next one, the magic “Kairi”, stinks ‘80s from top to bottom. And so on… “Black Thunder White Lightning” is ‘70s deeped classic rock/blues while “Kisses From An Enemy” that follows includes Def Leppard traces. But, the album’s most characteristic track is “Bad Habbit” which combines most of the band attributes, has a catchy melody and a killer chorus…
It’s already in my top list for 2021!