Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Star Sutra

August 10, 2003

Read: www.mp3.com/starsutra
Listen: www.mp3.com/starsutra
Buy: http://www.soundclick.com/store/ShoppingCartInfo.cfm?ID=4844

At first look, Star Sutra might seem like a heavy band (they have a nuclear explosion as cover art), but they really have a brooding, mellowesque rock style vaguely comparable to Coldplay on an electric trip with bits of jazz tossed in. It’s very unique.

‘Archaeopteryx’ opens us up with a smooth riff and a high, breathy vocal style. It makes the song feel very different. The drummer is very apparent in this song, which is good. A highly jazz influenced riff sets up “Morning Prayer”. The lead riff is good, but it is meant to be a vocals-driven song, and the vocal line isn’t good enough to completely carry it. When the band fills out completely, a faster, moodier feel comes to this, and it is much better.

A great two-guitar intro starts off the relatively basic ‘Skipping Records’, which features the best vocal line so far: haunting, enticing, and singable. This is a highlight.  “Honeymoon in Samsara” features a cool percussion effect and a happier (emphasis on -er) sound. The instruments are more straightforward than on the weaving, intersected “Morning Prayer”, but less than on “Skipping Records”, and it is in compromise that things work best.  ‘Dearest Pandora’ fingerpicks its way through most of the song and introduces the concept of slide guitar, producing a very empty, introspective feel. The vocals are some of the best on the album, continuing the mood perfectly, being uncharacteristically low. A wild breakdown is featured towards the end, before returning to the fingerpicking. It’s the best song on here.

An upbeat, catchy riff is accentuated by a counter riff to start off ‘Good Morning Afterglow’. It catches your ear like no other. A feel-good song with a twinge of sadness, this song could be on radio anywhere. This finale is undoubtedly the catchiest, and you will be repeating this one.

This whole CD feels like a story, with each song flowing into the next. In fact, if you repeat the CD, the last song feels like it flows into the first. It’s an amazing piece of art. It’s complex, it’s simple, it’s haunting, it’s beautiful, it’s sad, it’s happy, it’s downright moving. My only qualms are that the vocals on the first few tracks are raw and take away from the rest of the song. Solid 8 out of 10, and I’m sorry this band broke up.

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Comments: (2)

On May 7, 2009 Tim Patterson wrote...

Hey, thanks for the review-glad you enjoyed the CD. When was this written? Tim Patterson, guitarist, Star Sutra, ret.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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