Perfect Patterns

Dead Stars

Weird Tree Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Brooklyn's Dead Stars impressed me so much with 2016's Bright Colors that I knew I had to devote time to their most recent effort, Perfect Patterns. I was even fortunate enough to acquire a copy of only 100 cassettes made of the album.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Even though the leadoff tune “Precious Things” starts off a bit subdued, it quickly moves into a fuzzed-out rocker, one that is indebted to the '90s and packed with charged melody. “Life Is For Everyone” follows and unfolds like Nirvana on steroids, while “Erase Me” is more Lou Barlow influenced (Sebadoh) and one of the album highlights. “Pink Clouds” follows suit and is pure fuzz pop genius, moving with a contagious energy that has a pop-punk pace with heavier tones.

The middle of the album isn't short on gems either; “Snow Day” is a Matthew Sweet meets Dinosaur Jr. rocker that shifts from calm to explosive, and “Nostalgic” is what I imagine Nirvana  would sound like if they cut their grunge factor in half, getting back to basics with minimal percussion. “Happy Or Sad” is a brisk, peppy pop-rocker that the Goo Goo Dolls wish they wrote in their early years, while “Friends” brings us back to their fuzzed-out formula with sharp songwriting and fantastic guitar work.

The last few tracks don't hold back either; “My Teeth” is a muscular yet restrained offering, and “Boredom” is a quicker punk tune that flows right into the grungey rocker “Smarter.” The album exits on, surprisingly, a ballad-esque tune that any fans of Pixies will be infatuated with.

Despite all the references to similar, more well-known outfits, Dead Stars is certainly their own entity. They are heavily influenced by but definitely not ripping anyone off. Though I won't go as far as to say that they're the best band that exists today, I will say they are absolutely, undeniably, and respectfully right near the top.

Rating: A

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