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  STARSET
'Transmissions'
(Razor & Tie)
Release Date: 25th November 2014


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



starset

American singer Dustin Bates is best known as the frontman of US alternative rockers Downplay. Obviously as well as the rock singer day job he has a love of science and science fiction as he has now taken that to the max with his new band Starset.

He has created a mythology around the band that they are a front for a fictional organisation called The Starset Society who have decoded a message from an alien race with dire warnings of threats to our survival and are trying to spread that warning message to all of mankind.

Of course the best way they can think of to spread the message is by music so here we have the 'Transmissions' album, issued to be the saviour of the human race!

Article continues below...





This of course is either a wonderful or very silly set up for an album depending on your point of view but personally I'm all for a bit of high concept space rock and I'm pleased to say that the album doesn't disappoint. With a style somewhere in between The Alan Parsons Project and Linkin Park's more melodic moments this is more a rock than a Metal style of album but is full of big melodies and hooklines and a suitable air of mystery.

'My Demons' has already been a radio hit in parts of the US and is an uptempo, uplifting slice of electronica meets rock. The big chorus has great hooklines and the added strings leave you in no doubt that this is a big sound. 'Halo' has a more understated intro before hitting the chorus where the big sound buttons get pressed again.

starset

In contrast 'Telescope' and 'Down With The Fallen' are mellower and more restrained but the impressive songwriting and beautifully balanced harmonies mixed with carefully inserted slabs of guitars make sure that everything still has that big space rock feel. Every so often through the album you get sound effects and spoken sections and Starset's commitment to the concept they are working to is total.

As someone who has enjoyed various kinds of space rock over the years from Hawkwind's dreamy hippy take on it to Ayreon's huge fantasy epics I really like this album. The concept is fun but most importantly the music is good and there are some cracking songs on 'Transmissions'. There's not a bad song here and while the sound may be a little samey in places the overall effect is really good.

Melodic big space rock is here, maybe that's what the message of the concept says!

Line up:
Dustin Bates-vocals
Ron DeChant-bass
Brock Richards-guitar
Adam Gilbert-drums

Online:
http://www.starsetonline.com/
https://www.facebook.com/starsetonline/
https://www.youtube.com/user/starsetonline


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