There’s no great exploration of East Coast psychedelia without inclusion of Major Stars. Grown out of a connection formed when Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar shared time in the short-lived, but critically loved, Magic Hour, the band sprung to life with a ferocity that can be felt through to the marrow. The band incubated in famed record store Twisted Village (owned by the pair) and they have been a fixture for going on twenty years. Their latest in a run of great LPs for Drag City, Roots of Confusion, Seeds of Joy, shows no signs of the band turning away from their heavy shred prowess tempered with elegiac vocals. Rogers and Biggar burn through runs that would put a blush in the cheek of Munehiro Nirita and the fact that they’ve shared many stages with Acid Mothers Temple ought to be some indication of what’s at play here.
The sound that simmers in the veins of Roots… seeps right out of their last hard charger, Motion Set, though they swap out vocal duties from Hayley Thompson-King to Noell Dorsey this time around. Her delivery soars above the fray, turning the tumult into alchemy in waveform — a guiding light above the three-guitar attack the band metes out over the course of seven songs. Dorsey’s vocals tense and roll away from the dexterous guitar army thrashing behind her. Her style moves seamlessly from the kind of coiled, but coy ‘90s indie to soaring psych-folk forays. Though, admittedly, the band never quite meets the folk half of that equation, playing calm occasionally, but never quite taking the intensity below a simmer. But that’s not why we’re all here, is it? Major Stars have always had their teeth in an artery delivering both adrenaline and feedback in equal gushes. On Roots of Confusion, Seeds of Joy they continue to do what they do best — burn down the walls and collect the ash for next year’s rites and riffs.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.