Fronted by a spasmatic anorexic that surely must be the prodigal daughter of Iggy Pop, Starcrawler – a raucous and unfiltered band from LA – is here to take absolutely no prisoners in this retreating, almost apologetic, low watermark era in rock and roll history.
For the last couple of years, corporate-bought websites – which once held prestige as independent rock journal outlets – have been whining about the waning influence, originality, and rebellious spirit of rock music. Yet, I have never heard or seen anything as vicious, unapologetic, and celebratory as the unfettered energy pouring forth from the guitars, drums, and howls of this outlandish quartet from California. Undoubtedly, I can say my faith has been restored in rock. Since the early 90s, alternative music has been the torch-bearer of rock, though there has been a bevy of embarrassments and questionable bands along that muddy road (Imagine Dragons, Cold War Kids, Foster the People). In that regard, yes, Pitchfork stayed true, posted warning signs, and held the wall against the rising tide of mediocre music.
Now, finally, comes along a band with no concern for the conventions of its mass-produced genre (similar to the Sex Pistols in the mid-70s rock) and it excites me to think of the possibilities. Sure, in the 50s there was a white guy named Elvis but then things kicked into high gear with the Beatles followed by the Sex Pistols ten years late and, once again, by Nirvana about 15 years later. Alternative music, as mentioned, became the de facto mantle of rock music – good and shitty – in the absence of Kurt Cobain’s rage and purity. Now, Starcrawler jumps onto the scene to unwittingly rescue us, the purists. Like the manic Spanish commander Aguirre traveling upriver along the Orinoco, I imagine Starcrawler would be content having trailblazed a brief moment in time to live in the annals of rock history.