Shimmering Stars Violent Hearts

Shimmering Stars Violent Hearts
It's easy to focus on the noisier elements of Shimmering Stars' music ― along with being the sound du jour, the racket caused by the Vancouver, BC quartet's heavy use of reverb is hard to miss. But doing so ignores the band's hook-laden melodies, the centrepiece of their debut. Inspired by '50s rock and doo-wop groups like the Everly Brothers, singer/guitarist Rory McLure and co. marry that era's sunny sounds to the doom and gloom of Velvet Underground and Suicide. "Walking down the street and I wanna kill everyone I see," sings McClure on the record's best track, "I'm Gonna Try," which finds the singer struggling to put aside his murderous tendencies for love. Meanwhile, "East Van Girls" laments local long distance romance. The best songs on Violent Hearts have been floating around the Internet for a while now, but the new tunes are hardly filler ― "Dancing to Music I Hate" is another standout. How far the band can take this sound remains to be seen, but Shimmering Stars' debut is a uniquely charming ode to a darker side of life. (Hardly Art)