The latest double A-side release from Edinburgh’s Star Rover is a pure pop punk treat, glazed with grunge and just enough marzipan indie sweetness to secure their destiny as darlings of the airwaves.
‘Oxymorons’ is a jangly, upbeat number, balancing its tautly thrashing drums with playful guitar licks and a chorus built on the catchy refrain, “hey youuu”.
It’s a formula that worked for Brooklyn boys The Drums, and Star Rover confront the possibility of Scottish surf rock with the energy of a band perhaps craving that East Coast sunshine.
Nevertheless, there’s definitely a hint of the West Coast in there too: the retro, honey-drenched Beach Boys oohs and aaahs, as well as something of early Green Day in the combination of a tight rhythm section, golden though nasal vocals and the cacophony of brightly clashing guitars.
As the song progresses, the fuzzy distortion kicks in for a solo and what before seemed like no-sweat pop punk is adorned with some slick and brazen rock ‘n’ roll.
Perhaps with a twist of irony, ‘Liars’ serves up the complications of its subject in direct, unabashed fashion by throwing us straight into an intense yet danceable two and a half minutes of neat fury, nailing the formula for straight up, melodic pop rock in the manner of nineties trio Ash.
Although ‘Oxymorons’ insists that “nothing’s new”, the band claim something fresh from their plundering of grunge, punk and vintage rock ‘n’ roll; while they might not be breaking generic waves, the lively attitude of these tracks alone is something to be excited about.
Words: Maria Sledmere