Vinyl Theatre - STARCRUISER
Review by Shannon Shumaker
STARCRUISER is a game-changer for Milwaukee indie-pop band, Vinyl Theatre. Taking a step (or ten) away from the sound that they established on their poppy 2014 release, Electrogram and even 2017’s Origami, STARCRUISER feels larger than life, electric and incredibly dynamic.
Each coming track on STARCRUISER exceeds expectations, beginning with the electric, surreal and massive opener, “Our Song.” The anthemic love song serves as the perfect intro to the album and promises to have fans singing along before it comes to an end. From there, it just gets better and better, too. The second track, “Feel It All” takes a darker, bigger turn before “Knock Knock,” which flows with ease.
Just when the album threatens to fall into safe songwriting patterns, the band shakes things up, too. The slower “Don’t Worry” still feels larger than life, but makes for a nice break from the massive tracks that surround it. Lyrically, “Don’t Worry” is incredibly vulnerable as well, a perfect intro to the emotional and chaotic “Never Thought This Would Happen,” which feels like a downward spiral mentally. Then there’s “Vandals,” which picks up the pace after the darker “Never Thought This Would Happen.”
Standouts on the album include the warm and full of love, “Done With These Days,” “Masterpiece,” which is driven by gorgeous vocal work and slow, sensual instrumentals, and the acoustic closer, “Dream of You,” which gives the album a intimate, personal touch.
It’s difficult to cherry pick just a few strengths on STARCRUISER, as each element on the album is spectacular, from the surreal, electric undertones of some songs to the hip-hop influences of others. The amazing diversity between songs like “We Make the Music” the softer “Don’t Worry” and the acoustic closer, “Dream of You” makes STARCRUISER a standout, as there really aren’t many artists pursuing the sound that Vinyl Theatre are on this release. STARCRUISER is miles ahead of their previous rock-based work and finds the band exploring an entirely new world, opening countless doors for the future.
LISTEN TO: "Our Song" and "Masterpiece"
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