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Starsick System: Lies, Hopes & Other Stories

Bringing together three ex-members of Syrayde – Valeria Battan (bass), David Donati (guitar) and Ivan Moni Bidin (drums) – the trio teamed up with Bidin's ex-Pathosray band mate Marco Sandron – who's also spent time in Fairyland and five minutes with Eden's Curse – to man the microphone. The band released their debut, Daydreamin', in 2015 and now follow it up with Lies, Hopes & Other Stories, an album bristling with energy and a sharp line in hook laden choruses. Often likened to Alter Bridge and the many outfits that have followed in their wake, the strongest comparison I can offer for this outfit is UK hard rock punchers Toseland, the way that band combine the more modern outlook to an intentionally 80s rock sound, also found here. And they do it well, the dramatic strings and proud cymbal laden beat of "I Am Hurricane" immediately revealing the atmospheric thunder this lot provide.

Very much the now you see him, now you don't man thanks to his all too brief tenure (one song…) in Eden's Curse, Sandron proves here to be a more than capable focal point, his gritty delivery disguising an excellent range and character laden style. Something ably illustrated on the smash and grab of "Sinner", where a catchy beat and slick riff last long in the memory. With "Bulletproof" heading down a similar path, the band's ability to rain down some serious hammer blows of guitar and drums hits all the more precisely, thanks to a predilection for combining it all with a more old school commercial twist. The likes of "The Promise" and its slower tribal beats and the stripped back, clean guitar led "Everything And More" offer a clever amount of variance to proceedings, the piano melodies in the latter also a nice touch as Sandron delivers another excellent vocal. However it's hard not to suggest that it isn't the bullish hard rock of "Come One, Come All" and its sing along chorus, or the slow build and exploding crescendo of "You Know My Name", which show this band in the strongest light.

This type of modern take on a traditional hard rock sound is beginning to find real favour with an ever greater number of acts and therefore the biggest challenge for Starsick System may well be getting noticed in an ever busier arena. They have the songs and the sound and in Marco Sandron they also have the voice, with some luck they could go the distance.

Track Listing
1. Nebolus
2. I Am the Hurricane
3. Bulletproof
4. Sinner
5. The Promise
6. Scars
7. Everything and More
8. Come One, Come all
9. Perfect Lie
10. Hope
11. You Know My Name

Added: July 1st 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Starsick System on Facebook
Hits: 1409
Language: english

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