Brooklyn band Dead Stars list grunge as a genre they might fit into. But the bands I’m reminded of when hearing the trio’s latest output The Wasted EP are more straightforward garage, post-punk or old-fashioned alt-rock bands. Listening to the two tracks we feature here, I hear groups like Smashing Pumpkins, The Hold Steady, Foo Fighters or, to a lesser extent, Silversun Pickups.
Cousins Jeff and Jaye Moore team up with longtime friend John Watterberg to craft the fuzziest of catchy guitar hooks and pulsing percussion, all of which provides a way to take a trip back into recent rock history. The minute-long guitar intro of “The Same” is a headbanger’s dream: it’s loud, supercharged and infectious. The formula isn’t complicated — guitar hook and drums with some nice vocal work — but it doesn’t make Dead Stars’ work any less impressive.
With “Wasted,” I think it was the vocals that initially brought The Hold Steady to mind. Again, it’s just introducing a really solid guitar riff and then building on top of that tasty lick before coming back to it. On a gut level, I find these two songs to be somewhat irresistible. Maybe it’s the reminder of youthful angst and simpler days.