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Starsabout: Halflights

Reissued to coincide with the release of their second album, Longing For Home (also reviewed on SoT), Halflights was the 2014 full length debut from Poland's Starsabout. Billed as an alternative rock band with progressive and post-rock influences, this debut found them operating in a more dreamy indie rock arena. The slightest nods to the bleakness of their countrymen Riverside and the earlier musings from the UK's The Pineapple Thief the only real nods towards the post-prog direction.

Whatever it is that they put in the water in Poland, it does often seem to lead to bleakness in the music its bands create, melancholy very much the order of the day on what is a deeply chiming, melodic, beast and one that looks to shimmer with a deep enigmatic presence. Strongly focused on the sparse guitar playing of Piotr Trypus, the six-string man also handles lead vocals and as such sets the tone for the majority of what is a well crafted, if slightly overbearing eight track outing. However there is often a feeling as though Starsabout want to burst into something much more commercial, or arresting than anything that is actually revealed. The results sounding like a compromise where an approach that appears to be hoping to take this band into a more progressive direction often becomes confused for something much less eventful. Vocally Trypus is downbeat and dowdy, but then so is the music he fronts, the beats from Sergiusz Pruszy�"ski being slow, steady and safe. Seldom, if ever, does anything break out from that holding pattern, "Every Single Minute" never quite bursting into the heartbreaking indie pop or shimmering prog it threatens. "Escaped" does offer some light from the gloom, the guitars toyed with in effort to inject some passion and spirit into proceedings, but the desire for Starsabout to continually pull back into the safety of plaintive sounds and controlled vocals once more leaving much of what you encounter to sound remarkably similar and thus, all too quickly forgotten.

There isn't a bad piece of music on Halflights and yet neither are there any real standout moments. As a background listen this album can be an effective companion, however, if it's something more exciting, more upfront and more attention grabbing that you're after, then this isn't really for you.

Track Listing
1. Halflight
2. Every Single Minute
3. The Night
4. Black Rain Love
5. Escaped
6. Sway
7. 20 000 Miles
8. Bluebird

Added: May 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Starsabout at bandcamp
Hits: 892
Language: english

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