You venture into the dark dusty corners of a previously unexplored attic and within find the predictable, almost dauntingly alluring yet sinister looking dolls house long told tales and visually evocative movies often portray. You peer through its small enticing windows and wonder what goes on within their plastic panes, what adventures play out within the surrounding walls in the darkness. The imagination conjures, thoughts tease…then as their distinct sounds search out both from speakers below, the possibility is obvious; they just might house the unique world of Starsha Lee.
Not that the sound of Starsha Lee is nursery room fit, unless it is those lurking within the distorted lines between reality and nightmares. As in evidence within the band’s debut album, Post-God Metaphysics, it is a rapacious psyche trespassing endeavour spawning songs borne of discontented snarls with characters bred in demon haunted mania. It is also one fiercely addictive treat which may find itself a challenge too far for some but fingered our passions from start to finish within an album that just demands attention.
Though undoubtedly highly individual, the Starsha Lee sound also has a side to it which is akin to a fusion of the rebellious punk rock of In Evil Hour, the noise bred catchiness of Melt Banana, and the mischievous alternative rock of Daisy Chainsaw. The latter is no surprise as they and Starsha Lee are inflamed by the distinct senses scathing, spirit rousing guitar enterprise of Crispin Gray, also formerly of Queen Adreena, and Dogbones. Beside him, the quartet consists of the rhythmic adventure of Lenny Verallis (Dumbjaw/You) and, headed by the vocal devilment and lyrical incitement of Portuguese singer/ visual artist Sofia de Oliveira Martins. Epitomising the uniqueness of the band tenfold, she can best be described as having the vocal prowess of Lene Lovich twisted and distorted through the hands of Jigsaw as the juices of KatieJane Garside (Daisy Chainsaw/Ruby Throat) and Dawn Lintern (Das Fluff) are squeezed into their high pitched results. It all adds up to anarchic beauty in a release which had us drooling with lust rather quickly.
Post-God Metaphysics opens up with Love Is Superficial and immediately Gray is teasing ears with sonic intrigue, coaxing them and the imagination with infectious rhythms in close quarters. As swiftly the richly enticing tones of Martins flirt and dance on the blossoming landscape of the song, it all as infectious as it is musically and emotionally predacious. The track is superb and just the beginning of one exhilarating creative emprise.
The punk rock throes of People Are Horrible follows, its rhythmic raps and sonic writhing spinning a web of stop go virility entangled with Martin’s vocal rascality. In its far too short a stomp, the song, as all, embraces an array of flavours in one devious recipe, all spicing up ears and an already greedy appetite here for the album’s loco lined exploits.
With the guitar again laying the first line of bait, next up Holy Hatred seduces and feverishly ignites within its opening breaths; growing from a gentle caress into a metal infused blaze of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll with venom in its voice and sounds before Life Is Suicidal shares its own sonic pyre with virulent contagion to its bold vocal blend and bounce. The nihilistic tone of word and heart floods the proposal, another constant menacing allure across the album, and bonds perfectly with the raucous bounce and captivating discord conjured.
Post Modern is an electric scowl, the guitar almost grimacing with acidity as Martin’s skilfully and heartily delivered intimation are again aligned to the harmonic breath of Gray’s backing vocals. Verallis and Zahra-Hall stamp rhythmic authority on the temptation, working on hips and neck muscles as the song serenades with open causticity while within the more hard rock nurtured Used To The Bruise, their rhythmic arousal comes wrapped in melancholic harmonics and emotive suggestion. Both tracks simply captivate with ease, the latter an inescapable lure to participation before Even God Doesn’t Know Your Name ensnares the senses with its addiction sharing punk ‘n’ roll canter. With a Cauldronated like hue to its tenacious body as Martins vocally writhes around, the song matches, at times eclipses, the temptation of its predecessors as another major highlight within the album drew further lust.
Through the scuzzy climes of Sterile Girl and the similarly raw discordance of Uncle Nietzsche, Starsha Lee just increase their grip; the first with a gentle twist and the excellent latter with a tug like one induced within an inflamed sexual endeavour. It stomps through ears with a hunger which veers on the rabid but with a controlled predatory nature matched in the following swagger lined march of Glass Diamonds. Its Marilyn Manson-esque swing underpins a senses scorching flame of sonic toxicity, an aural drug which bewitches and bewilders with craft and imagination.
Laugh Of God and (I Am) High And Divine bring things to a close, the first a cauldron of punk, metal, and garage rock which scars and seduces by the second, Martins once again a vocal Harley Quinn centre stage. Though not quite living up to other songs, it simply grabbed eager attention but was in turn overshadowed by the closing track’s acerbic croon. A song epitomising every aspect of the Starsha Lee sound if without continuing the line of springing essential hooks on the imagination, it brings Post-God Metaphysics to a glorious conclusion.
It is fair to say that Crispin Gray has been behind and involved in numerous bands which have unerringly hit the spot and instincts of us and a horde of others, but few if any striking dead centre the same way Starsha Lee has with Post-God Metaphysics.
Post-God Metaphysics is out now on digital download, streaming, CD and vinyl via Syndicol Music; available @ https://www.syndicolmusic.com/store
Pete RingMaster 27/03/2018
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright