So these punk kids from LA are getting a good amount of press right now, and from what I can see the reactions are swinging two ways.
1. Starcrawler is awesome and raw and thank God kids are still making no/fux/given rock and roll.
2. Starcrawler is regurgitated rock getting overhyped because the chick singer looks like an anorexic spider.
Honestly, I can feel both reactions. When you first hear Starcrawler, it doesn’t sound like anything particularly new. The riffs are simple, the guitar sound is nasty, and Arrow (the singer) brings a classic teeny-bopper got brain damage vocal derangement.
As bad as it sounds, it didn’t do them any favors to do that whole Shirley Manson (Garbage) testimonial vid in which she talks about how “challenging the status quo” is important and Arrow is breaking societal requirements for women. It made it feel like the bad kids were being good by being bad for their bad parents. As cool as Manson is (was?), it didn’t feel cool.
But something pure does shine in Starcrawler. They got duende, plain and simple. The energy is there, man. If you’re looking for something experimental, they ain’t it, but if you feel like spitting blood sometimes (which I think we all do), it helps to have this terrifyingly skinny kid doing it for us.
Honestly, they should stay miles away from another adult punk vouching publicly for them and just keep writing music. If they’re the real deal, we’ll know in a couple years.
So to answer the question in the headline: Both. Starcrawler’s sound feels regurgitated, but they got the rare juice, the essential vibration that any music’s gotta have to get past the bedroom. That’s something to enjoy and keep an eye on.
They were opening for the Distillers recently and if you don’t think that’s something worth seeing, you’re an idiot.