Star Period Star - "Jet Propulsion Mystery Summer" (Self-released, 1998)
From Aural Innovations #7 (July 1999)
Star Period Star asks the power trio concept to step outside and proceeds to kick its ass all over the parking lot. This is high energy, give 'em a straight jacket rock music that struck me as a combination of Massacre, Dr Nerve, and Thinking Plague. Sex Pistols acid kosmische? I see they even split a 7" release with Cheer Accident and I do hear similarities to that band as well. The urge to throw in 70's King Crimson is a strong one, but that just doesn't give you an idea of what this band is about so forget I even mentioned it. So hell, you may not be able to make heads or tails of the analogies but if you've figured out that this is manic shit that defies description then I guess I'm doing ok. The band is based in Illinois and consists of Alex Perkolup on bass, guitar, and vocals, Dave Rosato on drums, percussion, and vocals, and Dan Sweigert on guitars, samples, piano, and vocals.
The disc opens full blown. No buildup. "Waiting For The Fireworks" establishes the band's trademark of maddened guitar and bass, BOTH playing a lead role, and everywhere-at-once drumming. The vocals are somewhat punkish but mostly RIO artsy. Reminds me of a male Susanne Lewis. The players really jam, though the music has too much direction and purpose to be improvised, but I may be wrong. The best parts are when the bass is off on a high tech run while the guitar sends glass chips and shards of metal flying everywhere. Take cover! "94.3" is a similar tune and is very much along the lines of Thinking Plague and 5UU's though Star Period Star are far more aggressive. The guitar gets a bit liquid psychedelic in segments though this is more of an embellishment than an actual psych exploration.
"At Laughing Distance" goes in a slightly different direction. Still a violently aggressive tune it has a jazzy feel, kind of in a warped Zappa way. There's loads of varied guitar work here and the rhythm section continues to shine. To say this music is busy would be a serious understatement. Undivided attention is required for maximum appreciation. "Foo Co. Spend Julam" is the track where the King Crimson comparison is unavoidable. It's got a heavy Lark's Tongues/Red sound but is still distinctly STS. The final track, "Sad Road Villa", takes a complete 360 degree turn sounding like a lost acoustic echolyn track that didn't make it on to Suffocating The Bloom. Quite an easy landing after the roller coaster ride on the previous five tracks.
Star Period Star aren't really a spacerock or psych band but fans of heavy spacerock who like a good dose of instrumental complexity should definitely check these guys out. My highest recommendation.
For more information you can visit the Star Period Star web site at: http://www.starperiodstar.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Star Period Star; 1482 Cornell Terrace; Hoffman Estates, IL 60194.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz