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Starlite Desperation – Violate A Sundae

In the middle of nowhere in Arizona is a road side attraction souvenir shop called The Thing. It’s just an otherwise useless spot in the middle of the desolate southwestern desert serving no other purpose than to provide a small dose of entertainment for lonely truck drivers, cross country travelers, and bored rock bands making their trek across the country to play gigs in smoky bars for their nightly audience. Except, “The Thing” in Starlite Desperation’s first track wants to hold your hand, whispers cannibalistic curses, wishes you’d send it Valentine’s, and is here to do more than just provide cheap entertainment.

I’ve read a few reviews for Violate A Sundae, the new EP from Starlite Desperation, and they all fail to mention why you need to go out and buy it: it’s catchy, dirty rock n’ roll. Fuzzy, distortion heavy guitars meant to be played loud start off the EP, but it is Dante Adrian’s voice that swaggers and drawls and drags you across six songs that wail and reach out to the listener. His lyrics are clever and passionate, and sometimes humorous. The bass lines creep and crawl under your skin and the drums make you nod your head in a hypnotic back and forth motion while you listen to the guitars swirl around your head.

Adrian’s lyrical landscape is lush and full of creativity, but it is the frantic pulse of the seriously distorted rock n’ roll guitars that pushed Violate A Sundae into the ‘must listen’ group of CDs resting atop my stereo. It’s heavy. It’s strong. It sounds like melodious tumult and it’s the best material Starlite Desperation has put out to date.

Violate A Sundae is a great comeback for a band that broke up in 2002 to pursue other music projects, most notably Lost Kids, and then reformed in 2003. The EP is somewhat of a return to Starlite Desperation’s old ‘spirit’. The colors, the cover…remind me a bit of the 7-inch they released on the East Bay label, Catchpenny Records, in 1997. (One of the songs in particular, “Our Product,” was included in the Skyscraper/Gold Standard Labs CD compilation released in Spring 2003)

The new Starlite Desperation sound has apparently found a way to feel comfortable, embracing its past and its history while moving in a new direction musically. The new EP finds a way to feed the appetite of fans of their older, more distortion heavy sound, without compromising the band’s own appetite for creativity.

Vocalist Dante Adrian describes how he approaches songwriting, “I’ve always tried to approach every song as if it’s the first and last song I’d ever make; plus, we’re all getting better at this. Since we knew it was going to be an EP, we avoided the ups and downs that can characterize a full length. In other words, part of its aesthetic was determined by the short format.” All six songs hit home, with “Born To Be Dizzy” standing out as the catchiest song on the album. The band has plans to record a full length in the Fall after they complete a U.S. tour.

Starlite Desperation last played Denver in April when they opened up for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Rapture. They’re back in the States after a successful European tour. Don’t miss them on July 12th, when they perform at the Larimer Lounge.


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