STARDEATH & the WHITE DWARFS "THE BIRTH"
1st WB PRESS ***SEALED**
Stardeath & White Dwarfs' reputation -- and public profile -- certainly isn't hurt at all by the fact that there's the family connection to the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, given his nephew Dennis fronts the band. (To their further collective credit, even the artwork of The Birth makes the connection clear, down to font choices and color schemes.) This acknowledged, does The Birth work as an engaging listen in its own right instead of the band being, say, 2009's version of the Unbelievable Truth? Yes and no -- there's something engagingly careening about The Birth at its best, arguably even more so than what Coyne's uncle does these days. Songs like "The Sea Is on Fire" and "The Age of the Freak" have more scuzzed-out edges to them, for instance. The flipside is that it's essentially one of any number of endless albums happily plundering psychedelic fuzz, early prog mysticism, and easy flowing late-'60s sunshine pop that have been created and released over the years, something that puts together all the parts with skill and evident love but doesn't seek to do much in the way of anything remarkably new; like catnip for those already fully inclined to seek out what's there. At points there are hints of just where an eventual breakthrough might come for them -- "New Heat" has something of a big and beautiful shimmer underneath the intentional production murk and echo, while the Pink Floyd-goes-funk break on "Those Who Are from the Sun Return to the Sun" is a nice touch -- but even so, it underscores that the band's own identity is yet to be truly forged in full. Still, points for ending the album on a song called "Smoking Pot Makes Me Not Want to Kill Myself." (AMG)
NOTE: I have no idea whatsoever how this bizarre LP ended up in my library. Well, at least it's sealed.
Stardeath And White Dwarfs – The Birth
Label: Warner Bros. Records – 9362-49768-3
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US Released: 2009
A1 The Sea Is On Fire
A2 New Heat
A3 Keep Score
A4 The Birth
A5 Those Who Are From The Sun Return To The Sun
B1 I Can't Get Away
B2 The Age Of The Freak
B3 Country Ballad
B4 The March
B5 Smoking Pot Makes Me Not Want To Kill Myself
Design, Layout – George Salisbury
Mastered By – Brian "Big Bass" Gardner*
Other – Greg Kurstin, Josh Jones, Philip Rice
Performer – Casey Joseph, Dennis Coyne, James Young (12), Matt Duckworth
Photography By – J. Michelle Martin-Coyne
Producer – Stardeath And White Dwarfs, Trent Bell
Recorded By – Stardeath And White Dwarfs, Trent Bell
Written-By – Stardeath And White Dwarfs
Notes: Recorded at Bell Labs, Norman, OK and Dawn of Creation, Oklahoma City, OK.
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