By The Grace Of Rock N Roll
Melodic Passion Records
March 12, 2021
When you look at the album cover, you think you’re looking at a reincarnation of Kiss. Far from it. This band comes from Sweden and calls itself Starmen. It started in 2018 with a funny idea. They wanted to record an album in the style of the old heroes of 70s and 80s classic rock. And the musicians are highly productive. In 2020, two albums were released at once, “Welcome to My World” and “Kiss the Sky”. And with “By The Grace Of Rock N Roll”, the third album is already in the starting blocks.
In the picture, the four musicians look like a Kiss cover band. But the opener “Shining Star” sounds more like Whitesnake. Great melodic stadium rock. Fun to listen to. Catchy melodies, convincing guitar solos. By the way, the Swedes offer this in high quality on the whole album. But already on the bombastic “By the Grace of Rock’n’Roll” you can hear borrowings from the Kiss universe. You can sing along to the chorus immediately. And you can clearly hear that the band has several very good singers in their ranks. That is probably the most serious difference to the rock legends. Also in “Kairi” you can hear many borrowings from the US hard rockers. But it can also be different. Black Thunder White Lightning” starts with funky guitars. And these characterise the whole song. The catchy “Kisses Of An Enemy”, on the other hand, reminds me a bit of Avantasia in the chorus. But it doesn’t drift quite so much into pop. And variety is writ large. “Pleasuredome” sounds a bit darker and is riff-oriented for long parts. After the pop-heavy “Spaceplane” with a strong AOR edge, things get more rocky again with “People’s Parade”. Although Starmen are officially without a keyboardist, you can always hear them, for example in the introduction to the lively sounding “Bad Habit”. This also continues later in this song. As a contrast, the darker and again riff-dominated “Hotter Than Fire” follows. Here Whitesnake again send their regards. Angels Crying” also rocks out again shortly before the end. The album ends with the a capella “Shining Star Voice Outro”.
The album title “By The Grace Of Rock N Roll” says it all. Almost three quarters of an hour of the finest melodic rock. And sometimes you even think you can hear the protagonists of the 70s/80s themselves. That’s how faithfully certain riffs and hooks are integrated. Four excellent musicians are at work here, who have obviously absorbed the sound of this time with their mother’s milk. The album is pure listening pleasure and the best musical entertainment.
Starmen – By the Grace of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Official Video): https://youtu.be/dqturoLqfW0
Starman Red (Kristian Hermanson) – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Starman Purple (Andreas Lindgren) – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Starman Silver (Marcus Sjöblom) – Drums, Vocals
Starman Gold (Jonatan Samuelsson) – Bass, Vocals
Label: Melodic Passion Records
Out: March 12th, 2021
Playing time: 44:01
- Shining Star
- By the Grace of Rock’n’Roll
- Black Thunder White Lightning
- Kisses Of An Enemy
- People’s Parade
- Bad Habit
- Hotter Than Fire
- Angels Crying
- Shining Star Voice Outro