Early in the Second World War the British gave the Americans a specification for the design of a new escort fighter for the European Theatre Of Ops. It had to have plenty of fire power, speed and a range that would take it to Berlin and back but still be able to loiter over the target while the bombers did their thing.
It also had to have an operational ceiling high enough so it could protect the bomber streams from being bounced by the Luftwaffe. The Americans came up with the P51 but its original Allison engine just did not have the grunt. Then an RAF officer had the brilliantly simple idea of marrying a British Rolls Royce Merlin engine to the American designed airframe and voila, a run of the mill aircraft was transformed into a high altitude world beating killer.
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Here, Dear Superstar may well have performed the heavy metal equivalent.
This Manchester band has taken a weary American template, shoved a British engine on it and created a bloody great album.
You don't believe me? Check out 'Sirens'; that fucker fires up with an immense growling guitar that proceeds to drive the song way up somewhere where the sun always shines. Opener 'Damned Religion' comes at you with all guns blazing and 'Glitters Just Like Gold' is chunky Brit Metal at its best.
'Tomorrow' slows things down a touch but is still as heavy as fuck. These tracks are just examples but any track would do. The overall sound of 'Damned Religion' is that of slick, less sleazy, modern American Metal kitted out with diamond hard and jagged British bloody mindedness.
Better still, the vocals stay down in the mid ranges; no hell bound grunty stuff or octave scaling screaming here, just good old fashioned chest beating bravado - always a bonus.
The band is tight, the growling guitars snap and snarl, the soloing is good but not over the top and there is a certain overall quality to the album that suggests it has spent a lot of time on the road.
Though it is refreshing it is by no means original, but when it packs this amount of wallop, who gives a flying fuck?!
With Buckcherry's Stevie D giving a hand (on 'Our City Sleeps') the album could be a natural progression of the work Roadstar (Hurricane Party?) started, proving that when it comes to kicking new life into tired formulas you just can't beat a hefty dose of good ol' British Bollocks (and a Merlin engine).
Great things have been predicted for Dear Superstar and the boys themselves describe 'Damn Religion' as their most definitive work. Perhaps they are being a little hasty because it does lack that absolute killer tune and a bit of bottom end but once those small niggles are remedied, then assuming they stay together long enough, world domination is not beyond the realms of possibility.
For the time being however, this album will do just nicely thank you very much. Its $8.99 on Amazon; the best money you're likely to spend all year
. Get it and enjoy because 'Damned Religion' is the mutts fucking nuts and y'all can quote me on that.