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The Morning Stars: Slipped Away

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Their new album Radiation reviewed by Sarah Morrison

The Morning Stars hail from Hamilton, Canada, although you’d never believe it to listen to their music because they sound as if they’d be right at home in Manchester, UK, eating pies and supping pints with The Stone Roses.

Released on their own label, Volume Records, Radiation is a psychedelic mix of electronic dabblings, darkly exploratory lyrics and clever, varied tracks that keep you guessing right through the album. With vocals reminiscent of Liam Gallagher (but without that nasal, whining just-want-to-punch-him-in-the-face quality) and Ian Brown, and an overall laid-back feel but with a moody undercurrent, this is an album that likes to make you think it’s easy to pigeonhole, before it throws any labels or genre tags back in your face.

Radiation Just when you think that, like their debut album You Can’t Change The World, you’ve got them pinned as classic brit-pop with their first three tracks, they chuck ‘Murder of Roman Polanksi’ right in the middle of the record, an instrumental that begins as a pleasing, upbeat little ditty but which descends into gloom and darkness mid-way. This is where you really begin to see the thought that has gone into the creation of this record – the band list Polanski as an influence, and this instrumental expresses the unhappy dichotomy of reverence and disgust that I’m sure every Polanski fan feels, without words or pretense.

 

From this point onwards, Radiation takes unpredictable turns with every song, taking you from the dark social commentary of the album’s Kasabian-flavoured title track, to bouncy pop with ‘Gypsy Rose’, a great homage to The Beatles in ‘Oh No, No, No’, a pensive anti-love song in the form of ‘Kiss Me Goodbye’ and ending with the odd but wonderfully simple Kinks-influenced ‘Procupine’.

This is a record heavily laden with intelligent structuring, thoughtful lyrics, intricately layered instrumentation and vocals which you just can’t believe come from the mouth of a Canadian. It’s an album that warrants a second or third listen to really appreciate, but it’s definitely worth the time.

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