The makeup is back on Messrs Red, Silver, Purple and Gold; each a Starman and they make up (pun intended) the very much “not Kiss” heavy rockers that is Starmen. Formed in 2018 their stated purpose was to have fun and to make a record taking the best from the ’70s and ’80s classic rock scene. Their last release (Kiss The Sky) was reviewed in RAMzine Issue 27 as the Covid bug was biting hard. Despite that disruption, they’ve managed to assemble a third album called By The Grace Of Rock ’n’ Roll that provides eleven quality, melodic, heavy rock tracks that do have hints of that “other band”, and one or two others, but always maintains originality and a large helping of honesty.
Take lead-off track, ‘Shining Star’ for example; six minutes of Kissy ‘Snake that is immediate and memorable with a quality guitar duet too. The title track starts like a 21st Century Kinks with Gene and David guesting on vocals! ‘Black Thunder, White Lightning’ has a riff that wouldn’t be out of place on Burn, but it is Starmen through and through and rather damn good as the always in the background Blackmore influence comes to the fore. ‘Pleasuredome’ has a Priestly chugging riff; the poptastic ‘Spaceplane’ is a heavyweight 10CC! whereas ‘Peoples Parade’ is fresh out of the 70s singles charts when rock was a regular on TOTP. ‘Hotter Than Fire’ is my favourite but it should have been longer as the Ozzy/Cooper structure is sheer class.
It takes a couple of run-throughs for the true depth of these compositions to reveal themselves…so, as I said in summarising their last album, “forget the Kiss-esque image and all of the comparisons; give this rewarding album listen and then decide.”
By The Grace Of Rock’N’Roll is released by Melodic Passion Records on March 12th 2021.