Ghosts From The Past
Tooth & Nail
Starflyer 59’s double disc collection of alternate takes, b-sides, and covers may seem an intimidating starting point for a virgin listener, but from the first two seconds of the opening song “Automatic” it’s clear that the 31 tracks are going to serve as a primer for a fan in the making.
Conjuring the same calm and eerie air as the great British post-punk pioneers who knew when to use distortion and fuzz, and when to let the melody ride high and clear in the mix, the Riverside, California band has quietly been keeping the dream of Echo & the Bunnymen and My Bloody Valentine alive for 16 years — very much under the radar. Living inside of songs that embrace minor keys, Starflyer 59 are buried deep in gorgeous ache and vocalist Jason Martin personalizes that ache with both his voice and his lyrics.
Challenging the bewitching vocals of Martin for top billing are the sometimes lush/sometimes fuzz-drenched guitar work on this impressive greatest hits bundle. The sexy ache of the strings and voice combined straddle wondrous pop songs that beg to be devoured. Whether sucked on like the piece of candy that is “I Love You Like The Little Bird,” or gnawed on like the gritty “Mr. Martin” (whose secondary acoustic take would otherwise be sipped on like a cool lemonade), these songs are to be savored.
Mixed in with the band’s originals are notable covers of classic songs by The Smiths, and The Church.
Starflyer 59: www.sf59.com