...but still pumping!
Hard rockers Dear Superstar have been around for some time now, they’ve gigged heavily, had a couple of bum label deals but in Demolitions subsidiary DR2 they finally seem to have found someone willing to give them the time and the backing to do themselves justice.
‘Heartless’ follows on from their debut ‘Confessions of a Twisted Mind’ that came out a couple of years ago and it’s clear that they have spent the time since then reinventing themselves and honing their sound. OK so opening track ‘Brink of Destruction’ bears more than a passing resemblance to Guns & Roses in the verse but it sets the tone well with big riffs, subtle backing vocals and great production all backed up by big, big guitars. I confess that when I read some of the reviews for the first album I really couldn’t understand where they were coming from, if there’s one thing I thought it lacked it was really good tunes; this has all been put right however on ‘Heartless’, it’s just full of them! Live favourite ‘Brothers In Blood’ and ‘Live Love Lie’ ensure a solid opening salvo.
The guitar work is excellent throughout with the solos never overpowering the cutting riffs and it really gives the whole album a much more powerful feel than it’s predecessor. Mickey Satiar’s vocals are not the strongest but they work just fine and the production really brings them out well. They do make the album feel a little lighter than it would otherwise (particularly on ‘Anytime Anywhere’) but that’s really no bad thing and certainly makes it more accessible. ‘Signposts to Bedposts’ features another big chorus and some typical but classic guitar riffs and at the mid point of the album it’s abundantly clear that Dear Superstar have finally found their sound and produced something that should really make people sit up and take notice. ‘Raised Voices & Confrontations’ is probably the heaviest track and stuck in the middle it adds a little extra oomph at just the right time. ‘Rock Bottom’ has the kind of riff that you’d be happy to hear from The Wildhearts or Backyard Babies and whilst lyrically it all veers towards the sleaze and mythology around the sunset strip it’s a little more polished and mature than we’ve heard from them before and it works far better.
Penultimate track ‘Diseased and Distraught’ can’t fail to get your foot tapping and leads into final track ‘Can’t Write a Love Song’, which not surprisingly is something of a power ballad. It’s a decent effort although it does remind me of The Used (not a fan) and maybe it would have worked better in the middle of the track listing in order to finish with a bang. ‘Heartless’ is the album Dear Superstar should have made first time around, it was along time coming but it was worth the wait. Good stuff indeed.
Having already toured with the likes of McQueen and Firewind They are set to head out with the legendary Hanoi Rocks in November.