The main goal of Starfuzz founder Josh Skelton was to put together a band with chemistry. He auditioned twenty guitarists, finally settling on Ryan Countryman. It seems as if obtaining a bassist and drummer was a little easier, as Jared Schlitz (drums), and Curtis Durham (bass) happened to work with Ryan.
Starfuzz’s first album, You Are Food, was compared to Pink Floyd and the Beatles. The release of the Starfuzz EP, Product for American Radio, shows that the band has moved their influences forward in time, drawing from a more new-wave sound. In this transition, they have lost most of the spacey, psychedelia for a much faster rock sound.
Most of the songs remain up-tempo throughout, except for “Mr. Orion,” which starts out slow and builds in speed and complexity. In the arrangements for all six songs the lead guitar maintains a bright, chimey sound, not unlike that of Television. The lead guitar sound is backed up by grittier sounding rhythm and bass.
The chemistry Josh was looking for is most apparent in the band’s use of vocal harmonies, which have been cut down on for this latest release. Product for American Radio seems to be a portrait of a band undergoing growing pains. In an admirable and necessary attempt to grow as artists, they may ignore some of their best qualities. The songs on this EP are decent, but it sounds as if they have lost some of the heart found in “You Are Food.” Starfuzz has adopted more of a pop sound, which loses some of what made them unique. It’s good, just a little generic. However, the guys are talented and have only been together since the end of 2003. I’m confident that they will hit one out of the park on their next release.