William Steffey Roadstar

Somewhere between Spandau Ballet and Stabbing Westward, William Steffey found the sound of music he was determined to make. Roadstar is a record that adopts the synthetic and shallow traits of the '80s and serves it up with the popular industrial guitar sounds and dance beats from the late '90s. The title track sounds like a cheap retro attempt to cover Kraftwerk's "Autobahn," and makes it sound like it was created ten years later for an episode of Miami Vice. The female vocals are annoying and seem like a second-rate job of copying Radiohead's past work with computerised voices. Moving throughout the album, the influences of bands such as Pop Will Eat Itself ("Grow Crazy"), Happy Mondays ("Healing No. Four") and Depeche Mode ("Snowangels") are all exposed in the most unfortunate way. William Steffey is a little too late in releasing this album. Though rehashing old sounds has led to success lately for a number of bands, Steffey falls flat on his face with the movement he is trying to reiterate. Roadstar seems more like a retro mistake than it does a tribute to a certain period in music. (Aquariphone)