Starbenders – Love Potions (2020)

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Hailing from Atlanta, GA, Starbenders are the latest band to worm their way in to my brain, and take up permanent residence.  Self described as “the halfway home for misfits, fringers and glam punks”, their sound is incredibly infectious, and thoroughly captivating.

The album is Love Potions, and right from the opening moments it’s a musical gift.  Front woman, Kimi Shelter has a voice that is Stevie Nicks meets Debbie Harry by way of The Go Go’s, and even a dash of Gwen Stefani.  With that said, the music has the potential to be as iconic as Nicks, as original as Blondie and without a doubt as catchy as The Go Go’s and Stefani.

There’s a real nostalgia to the music, thanks mostly to the use of synth, but even the more traditional elements have a certain 80’s flair – while still remaining completely fresh.  This is such a pleasant surprise, I’m really blown away.

Speaking about the album, Kimi Shelter says; “There comes a time when dreams turn into reality. We have to be careful what we wish for, as anything goes in the land of our creation. The friction of this existence is my deepest source of inspiration. The making of ‘Love Potions’ pushed us beyond the walls of our perceived limitations. This record is a living diary of a band that exists between two worlds. Please be warned that upon listening, you will become a part of a ritual that is in motion. You will be a part of our story. If you’re with us, you must be kind, you must be brave and above all, you must be free.”

This is a big call from me, and maybe it’s just based off my initial excitement, but never before has rock, punk rock, glam and pop music been so perfectly blended together.  Starbenders have the potential to become a massive crossover act.  I have little doubt that Love Potions will make my top 10 list at the end of this year.

The album is a bit of an epic too, particularly for a debut.  14 tracks spanning 49 minutes, but the time absolutely slips away.  Not once was I bored, and never did Love Potions become a difficult listen.

Right now, I want this band to be part of my life forever.

10/10

Shayne McGowan.

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