For their debut record, Seattle’s Star Party offer up a fuzz pop deluge that’s hard to ignore. Mixing together punk’s pounce and shoegaze’s obfuscating aura with an indie pop heart, Meadow Flower is an album in love with its influences, but not bound by them. The band chews on the remains of Shop Assistants, Black Tambourine, Talulah Gosh, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Primitives with a fevered glee. While they’ve covered the Shops on a previous EP, this time they springboard off of the band’s candy-coated crunch for a blistered batch all their own. The songs on Meadow Flower careen around the speakers, pushed by a rudimentary drum machine pulse and bolstered by jangles, jolts, and the faded glory of a 4-track veil over the vocals. Thin, but insistent, the sound on Meadow Flower is far from polished, but the band swerve a few of the lo-fi potholes that cropped up during the wave of ’07-’12, laser-focused on getting the pulse up rather than reveling in the wreckage.
Carolyn Brennan’s vocals do their best to crest the surge of sound that swirls around her, ducking in and out of fuzz waves and the whip-snap of drums. Some of the best noise-pop isn’t concerned with penetrating the soul so much as scarring the skin, and in that regard Star Party succeed handily. The sonic assault tears at the top layers of the listener, sanding away the worry and anger until it explodes into cathartic arcs of color and light. The band is treading familiar territory, but they’re having fun speeding down the path paved by their heroes, and it’s just as fun to come along with them for the ride.
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