One could argue that Starz was a progenitor of the pop metal explosion of the 1980's. This New York band got off to a flying start with an appearance on Don Kirshner's Sunday Night Rock concert.
The band had a nifty looking logo, and the lead singer bore a passing resemblance to Mick Jagger. This album was arena rock formula, but the band wrote some really decent songs. Starz was best known for a song dealing with euthanasia entitled Pull the Plug.
Critics hated Starz but one has to understand a critic's mindset. Critics like music that is difficult, challenging, profound, provocative and/or all of the aforementioned. Everything can't be Abbey Road, Blood on the Tracks, or Born To Run. Starz first album is a fun listen, it certainly rocks, and I'll just leave it there.
Starz second album picks fruit from the same tree as the debut. The band had picked up a following, albeit a small one. There are some very good songs here. The anthemic "Sing it, shout it", All Night long, and, The Cool One are really strong efforts. S.t.e.a.d.y. rocks out for over 5 minutes. There is a bizarre tune about weird goings on in the subway naturally entitled Subway Terror.
The album concludes with the oddity Street Light or the moon. This is not quite a classic pop metal record, but it does inform listeners of the hugely popular melodic metal genre soon to arrive in the 80's, and it's a downright enjoyable listen.
Starz deserves a huge credit for trying something different.
The guitar buzz is still here but toned down some.
Two differences emerge from albums 1 and 2.
The songwriting has improved, or possibly evolved is a better descriptive term. Also the band has moved outside their "critical niche" and created a diverse power pop recording.
"Hold On To The Night" is a Bonjovi like tune [before Bonjovi really arrived]. There's also the template for the big power ballad evidenced by "The third time is the charm" and the 7 minute closer "Johnny all alone". We have the retro [Anyway you Want It] I'll Be There's, a nod to the Beatles and/or The Dave Clark Five. X-Ray Specs rocks hard, and as usual there's an oddity, this called Good Ale We Seek.
This album is a must for Starz fans, and for anyone interested in mid 70's rock styling. It's a shame the album and the group got lost in the ether.
After three solid albums Starz had not found a
large audience, so they chose to revert to the formula of the first 2 records. This
is not a bad effort, and it showcases a great song entitled It's a Riot.
There's no new ground covered here but if you like Starz, you'll like this.