Starwood If It Ain't Broke, Break It!

I’ve always had a soft spot for real tried and true, trashy street rock bands. You just can’t beat Hanoi Rocks or Guns N’ Roses when the mood hits. But the imitators and the whole retro rock revival thing just seems too contrived to even bother with. So what is Starwood, why are they on Metal Blade, and what category do they fit in? Well, this is essentially ’80s shock/trad/glam metallers Lizzy Borden reincarnated (I’m being literal here). Man, I can barely even bother to think about it, because the songs just annoyed me too much to want to further pontificate. Chalk it up to those snotty vocals, which just sound grating to these ears, like someone trying to imitate Bruce Dickinson, which is never, ever a good thing. Tune-wise, it’s melodic rock sorely lacking in much of an edge, instead coming off too clean, too polite, too pedestrian. They’ve got the image down, sure, and maybe they live the rock lifestyle to full tilt every night down in L.A., but with no hooks to stick in people’s noggins (I can barely even hear the guitar through this strange, tinny production) and no feeling coming through the speakers, the disc is irrelevant. A far stretch from the glory days of Borden anthems such as "American Metal” or "Visual Lies.” (Metal Blade)