On stage, Starcrawler delivers a rock n’ roll ruckus that has been described as everything but forgettable. A lucky front-row audience member in all likelihood will find him or herself thrashing with the blood-soaked singer or having to dodge an incoming guitar at any moment of the show. The band is young, they’re full of wild energy, and emerge each night exuding grunge and chaos with each performance.
When a band is known for their stage presence, how well can they translate their rafter-climbing antics within the confines of a recording studio? In their second album, Devour You, Starcrawler rocks out with an added layer of polish compared to the raw vigor of their self-titled debut. Arrow de Wilde’s voice comes through clearer, the melodies are more distinct, and overall their sophomore album is a sharpened product of the band’s raw potential.
For how young the band is, with no one over the age of 25, they embrace an older and wilder side of rock completely unabashed. The faster the song, the better they sound as can be heard in, “Lizzy,” “Toy Teenager,” and “Tank Top. “ Each of these fast-lane songs is a high-octane explosion with the rockers in more control as they speed into a drifting turn. Meanwhile, slower songs such as “No More Pennies” or “Born Asleep” drag on at parts like they were penciled in to give the band time to catch their breath between bursts of holy bat shit crazy mode.
The rock ballads in the middle of the pack such as, “Bet My Brains,” “You Dig Yours,” and “Hollywood Ending” show their skill at balancing rowdiness with refinement to get the crowd riled up together without spilling over onto each other. Produced with a light touch, the album focuses on the natural moods captured from the classic four-instrument rock band of a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and signer formula that propelled so many bands before the invention of the computer. The absence of the synthesizer from a young band producing music today is a refreshing change from the pleasant, yet ultra-refined synthesizers that fill so much of today’s promoted beats.
Starcrawler’s shows are a riot of skilled chaos and their presence as artists remains unafraid. As they continue to produce music, they show no sign of slowing down. In all likelihood, their next album will be another improvement. Rather than pulling out any of their individual songs for a playlist, listening to the album as a whole brings the listener back to classic rock days with the added good news that the band has plenty more in store.