Album review: STARDUST – Highway To Heartbreak

STARDUST – Highway To Heartbreak

Frontiers [Release date 09.10.20]

Debut album from (very) talented newcomers, Stardust.

In the world inhabited by melodic rock fans, very good pastiches of Eighties’ AOR get the utmost respect. The era’s distinctively polished, precision calibrated, hook heavy hard rock is so deeply ingrained in the psyches of genre fans that they need only hear an approximation of that sound to send them into raptures. Others find it hard to see the point.

Those very same fans will judge the opening two tracks to be an uncertain start, but they’ll vigorously agree that from there, Stardust have successfully crafted an album of songs that hit the AOR target, sometimes with laser guided accuracy, as on ‘Bullet To My Heart’ and ‘Shout It Out’. In each case the chorus is more than a pastiche. Yes, they are nods to the past, each gilded with deep fried harmonies and a naggingly familiar hook, but both are lit up by sparks of originality.

Moving up a level, ‘Second Hand Love’ and ‘Cant Stop Loving You’ are different class melodic rock songs. Both tracks, equiped with magnificently recurring guitar motifs, rise to a beautifully understated chorus, respectively recalling Def Leppard and The Storm. Stuff like this effortlessly captures and indeed amplifies the sound of an era. And does so without losing itself in a long identity parade of substandard, lookalike radio rock songs from the Eighties. Where you just can’t pick out one from the other.

Album standout (by some distance) is ‘Perfect Obsession’, a song with a keen, commercial edge that goes a step further. It expertly merges rock, pop and country into a discrete, identifiable sub genre with a wide demographic appeal. By driving a big ol’ AOR truck down Nashville’s country roads, Stardust, almost by accident, might just end up securing entry to a lucrative (if very competitive) market. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 22 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 24 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply