Album: S/t EP
Best Element: Auxiliary instrument
Genre: Pop/rock (that doesn’t suck)
As long as this emo/screamo, “The Used complete my life,” “I can’t wait to love the next band Myspace features for the day!” craze continues to dominate the airwaves I refuse to pick up the remote or turn on the radio. It would truly be a godsend if Fall Out Boy truly fell out. And don’t even get me started on Panic! At the Disco. The last time anything received this much attention Jesus Christ himself was raising from the grave. But what’s so sad about the current state of pop music, or more precisely the rock sect of pop music, is not the fact that the music is so obnoxious- although some of it most certainly is- but the fact that it all sounds the same.
Yet right when I build up enough bravado to put my true feelings into writing, right when I think the future is doomed to sound the same, a young band from Dallas, TX, and their recently released self-titled EP CD makes me think twice, sort of. Stellamaris, still just toddlers at two years in the making, rightfully belong with the Militia Group. They’ve taken the worth out of today’s pop rock, and made it, say, good. They’re emotional, but not emo. They’re catchy, but not poppy. They’re simple, but not shallow. But above all and most importantly, they’re not wearing girl pants.
Of all the groups that Stellamaris have shared the stage with (Action Action, Cool Hand Luke, As Cities Burn), their sound most resembles that of Lovedrug. Nathan Pettijohn’s vocals are nothing spectacular, but they’re admirably humble, and in that sense enjoyable. He’s like that kid on the B team who tries his heart out but will never be as good as the lazy ass prick playing A team. As far as instrumentals go, Stellamaris present a simple rhythm and lead guitar section, as well as a percussionist who fills the void. But what pushes this EP over the boundaries of mediocrity is the additional instrumentalists and friends they enlisted the help of—horn players, additional percussionists, string players, etc.
Recorded in drummer Alex Bhore’s living room and mastered by Michael Fossenkemper (Grandaddy, The Rocket Summer, Matisyahu), Stellamaris’ six-song EP is a solid release. I don’t often use this phrase, but Stellamaris are chockfull of potential, and their newest songs show it. Although this release is the follow-up to a 2005 full-length record, the group is still young. By no means am I implying that this EP is a masterpiece. But give these five some time. It’ll be worth it.