Thursday, 12 November 2009

Star Star - The Love Drag Years (1992)

1. Fly Boy
2. Science Fiction Boy
3. The Love Drag Years
4. Nervous
5. Cowboys In Space
6. Baby Shoulda’ Known
7. Groovy Guru Gangster Girl
8. Diggy Dragster
9. Treasure Or Trash
10. My Little Cuisinette

Star Star was a band that was dead on arrival, and I’m not even being harsh. Their career was dogged by line-up changes, bad timing, lack of label support, car crashes and suicide. But, we’re kinda’ getting ahead of ourselves…

Formed around 1986, by vocalist Carol Marrujo (yes, a girl FYI), guitarist Mickey Mess and drummer Chris Madl, soon to be joined by Johnnie Holliday (guitar/vocals) and bassist “Weeds” – Star Star would record their first album, entitled “Go Go Girls In Love”, an album that I have never even seen nor heard!?
I only have a handful of sources claiming that this was a record released in ‘86/’87, claiming that the original founding trio would all leave and would make way for guitar player Kane Dailey and drummer “Deon” to join the group. It all gets very sticky and complicated and then there’s a whole period where nobody knows what the fuck is goin’ on, but you get the idea. A lack of stability and no fertility is what were talkin’ here…

So, the band mooched around New York for 6 years until they were smartly snapped up by Roadrunner Records (you know, when they were a “good” label) and ventured into the studio for nine long months, eventually surfacing with “The Love Drag Years” – a record so full of fun, you may wonder if you’re on drugs for the whole 33mins and 15secs! To put it in the most genuine, complimentary manner I can, Star Star sound like Enuff Z’ Nuff on speed, the Ramones on maybe more coke than one would imagine and the New York Dolls on heroin . The band has an infectious quality and a superb kitschy vibe that can't be denied. It’s all stick your tongue out, middle finger up, nonchalant ballsy rock n’ roll and I fucking love it. You can dance your butt right off to this record too, without feeling like a kooky, disco douche bag. If Star Star had just hit four years earlier, we’d be talking about fucking legends right now ladies and gentlemen. The band unfortunately suffered the loss of guitar player Jay Henning, who committed suicide in 1995, whilst front man Johnnie Holliday was sidelined after a car crash, requiring surgery over a number of years. They were touring to my knowledge, until 2002, but all is quiet now and that is huge shame. Star Star are – and bear with me – better than the bands I mentioned above, better than the Stones, better than Hanoi, Guns, Lords Of The New Church, obviously better than Faster Pussycat and though it pains me - The Sweet. What! Yes! You just won’t believe me at all because you have not listened to “The Love Drag Years”, you are deaf in a world of noise dear reader. Plus, it’s so much better slipping the disc in when uninitiated, as the level of surprise cannot be matched by anything in this mortal coil. If you have had the pleasure, and are well acquainted with the band then, you are here because you come craving more and for the confirmation that you are not the only one aurally evolved.

“The Love Drag Years” experiences a big bang effect, which is really “Fly Boy”, track one. The song is flawless, sleazy and catchier than a fucking cold. This is now the start of the rest of your life, so fucking deal with it. “Science Fiction Boy” is cool as ice let me tell you. Hell, it’s all cool, but I feel it tradition to go track by track if possible and I do try not to spout the same garbage upon you. “Science Fiction Boy” has a killer riff and a happy as a wino in piss hook. The song is a great indicator of the style of the band and what you will come to expect from the rest of the material, little kicks and jerks, almost slurred, whispered verses and heavier than you think guitars. The title track will then wipe the floor with your ass, packing plenty of spaced-out attitude and possessing your finger to poke at the “repeat” button. Star Star also throw in a cover of the often forgotten Alice Cooper tune “Nervous”, and guess what…’s damn good. “Cowboys In Space” is more of a Jerry Lewis/Throbs style romp, complete with punch drunk honky tonk piano. “Baby Shoulda’ Known” is another heavy tune and a real stand-out amongst a parade of already perfect specimens, great riff, great whiny vocals and plenty more riffage to boogie to. “Groovy Guru Gangster Girl” has an amazing chorus, pure pop-rock gold and by now you should have the biggest fucking grin on your face, due to the almighty high you are experiencing. “Treasure Or Trash” is the other notable track I will, I suppose vaguely, summarize. It’s great, oh so great even though the actual song and words fuck off after about two and half minutes, you are left to be mashed into the wall by a motherfucker of a riff!

Then, the comedown. Not a bad one either. The album is only 33mins long (maybe a gripe, but I’m reaching), with one acoustic “ballad”, which comes at the finish for comfort and to let you catch your breath. All in all, “The Love Drag Years” is one of the best rock albums I’ve ever heard, and I’m being as honest as I can be right now, also it only cost me £1.79! That’s a what we call a steal right there people….But seriously, I cannot even begin to recommend it enough. It’s totally worth just buying even on a whim, if you happen to come across it. Or better yet, seek this sucker out. You heard it here….



© Flash Metal Circus

1 comment:

  1. i bought there album at a pawn shop here in vegas where i live, i only picked it up because the cover then i got home and listned and i thought it was fucking amazing, and now im here only to find out who the hell they are. thanks for the info