Star.Star E.P.

E.P. is the debut recording by Toronto's Star.Star, and it bears most of the hallmarks of a band's first CD, in that there is definite room for improvement. That's not to say that there isn't anything worth listening to here, because the band's take on no nonsense, no frills Canadian guitar rock does work to a certain extent. What it does suffer from is a sparse production that doesn't do the band many favours when it comes to making them sound unique. The last couple of songs do sound dramatically different from the first four, and a cursory glance at the liner notes indicates that they were recorded three years earlier by singer Chris Gunter and three other guys. Or to put it another way, it might as well be another band, because apart from the familiarity of Gunter's voice, they sound out of place. The newer songs are definitely stronger, and it appears that Gunter has found an appropriate foil in Joel Emberson, whose "Too Late For Sorry" is the best song here. If Star.Star can just find a slightly less pedestrian approach to their music, their next CD could really be worth investigating. (Independent)