By Stephanie Colombini
This indie band from Portland, Oregon, with their expletive-riddled name and strangely titled songs, has been quietly interesting me for some time even though I know little about them. I was instantly addicted to their 2008 hit, “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second,” but never heard one of their full albums and was unsure what it would be like. Were they just a one-hit-wonder band with some more time left on their record deal? Their third album, Miracle Mile, proves nay – Starfucker is awesome.
The opening track and first single, “While I’m Alive,” immediately hooks you with its funky synths, dance-ready drums, and YOLO-themed lyrics. It reminds me of Foster the People, but less pop and more groove. The driving bass in Track 3’s “Malmo” is ridiculous in the best way, making it an album favorite.
Sometimes the funk calms down, and I love these chiller songs as well. “Kahlil Gibran” (they keep up with the weird names big time on this album), brings me back to a sunny day, with its catchy falsetto and “Crimson and Clover”-eqsue guitar part. “Beach Monster” and “Fortune’s Fool” have a surf rock sound, keeping the traditional guitar-bass-drums at the forefront as opposed to the album’s mostly electro tracklist.
Of the synth-heavy songs, “Say to You” and “Atlantis” are definitely the best. The former features a beautiful, calming melody, making impressive use of electronic sound in a slower moving song. The latter is catchy as all get out, and will hopefully be released as the band’s second single.
Many songs on Miracle Mile are under three minutes; the band gets to the point and doesn’t leave you hanging – not usually, at least. There’s not a bad song on the album, but that doesn’t mean they’re all good either. Several of the fifteen tracks are easily forgetable fillers. On their own, they are enjoyable to listen to but, in sequence, they sound too similar to the hits and just come off as cheap rip-offs. The final track, “Nite Rite,” contains repetitive instrumentals that would make for an awesome song if it didn’t fall into the category of seven-minute songs that shouldn’t be seven minutes, something I’ve always hated. A long song that’s properly filled out is great, but I don’t understand why artists feel the need to drag out something that could have already ended with an extra minute or two of distortion – it’s not original, and it’s fucking up the flow of my shuffle!
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with how good Miracle Mile is and highly recommend it to all. Starfucker can easily compete with today’s other hipster-happy rock bands, and I hope they only continue to grow in the future.