Starters – Reasons to Stay


Artist

Album

Reasons to Stay

Label

City Of Gold/Hurry Up! Records

Year

2010

Genre

For Fans Of

Transit - Tigers Jaw - Title Fight

Summary

Pop-punk that isn't for thirteen year old girls.

Rating

85 / 100

Irish pop punk band Starters have had quite a buzz around them, and in particular, ‘Reasons To Stay,’ their debut release. Said buzz has resulted in a new record label and some impressive UK touring with Such Gold. With eight songs, the record lands somewhere in between the EP-LP area and includes four previously released (on demos) tracks as well as four brand newbies.

Opener Like A Cancer Grows is the standout track, a slow paced but heavy, rock song with slightly gritty dual vocals lines. The “pop punk” that the band plays is not the radio friendly All Time Low style that some people may be worried about when they hear this genre tag, Starters is rougher around the edges. Light Sparks makes it clear that the band have been influenced by the likes of Saves The Day, as this track features more upbeat, straight forward punk beats and softer breaks and builds. The title track is where the record’s production becomes noticeable, this band would be terrible if they had a mainstream sheen, luckily, they don’t, and the sharp guitars that lead this song are kept loose and real. The fact that the music was recorded by the band themselves makes this all the more impressive.

Fight Or Flight recalls early Taking Back Sunday with strong vocal melodies that are an easy standout, the intertwining vocals of Ian Fox and Ciaran Parnell are placed perfectly on top of one another, always working in tandem. Things slow down a little with Hopeless, But Devoted, which eventually burst into a head bobbing beat complete with inspirational guitar riffing. The record ends with Might As Well Be Dead, a wall of guitars and clean yelling vocals that continues to step up in pace and energy right until the end.

Conclusion

Starters sound like they should have been around seven years ago and are a shameless copy of early pop-punk bands. This is alright though because the songs are interesting and there isn’t a moment on this record that you will want to skip, think of it as a modernised trip down memory lane.

Tracklisting

1. Like A Cancer Grows
2. Light Sparks
3. Reasons To Stay
4. Nowhere Else I’d Go
5. Fight Or Flight
6. Geocache Girl
7. Hopeless But Devoted
8. Might As Well Be Dead

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