Major Stars Mirror/Mesenger

[Drag City; 2007]

Styles: rock band
Others: Black Sabbath, Mudhoney, Comets on Fire

Due to either bad timing, my occasional mental inclination toward the aloof, or just general misfortune, I have always come just short of giving Major Stars the quality time they deserve. I do admire their blend of gonzo guitar rock, and I've stumbled into Twisted Village -- the fantastic Cambridge, MA record store owned and run by head Stars Wayne Rogers and Kate Village -- a handful of times. I've also recently found myself outside a local music venue overhearing "How kickass was that Major Stars show last week?!" for the LAST TIME. So, when Mirror/Messenger landed in my lap, Major Stars' first LP for Drag City(!) and ninth overall, I knew it was time to lead Major Stars up and out of the basement to rock my ass properly. Thankfully, they rocked my ass to its soul.

Mirror/Messenger is the sound of Major Stars alive and for the first time in 24-tracknicolor, and nothing is compromised from the fuller sound. Keep in mind that we are dealing with Major Stars-Mark II here, which includes a three-guitar assault and the distinctive wail of relative newcomer Sandra Barrett. From the get-go, it's crystal clear that Major Stars are really going for it this time. The songwriting is tighter, the guitars are more lean, and the wah pedals are still left smoking when it's all over. It pleases me to no end that commercial rock radio has no place for this record, and when Sandra Barrett claims "I saw my people driving at the dark end of the soul/ With no world to stay alive in at the wrong end of control" during the mind fuckingly great "My People," we know that these "people" are of the hard rock counterculture with the Stars themselves, and a reaction to the state of hard rock.

If your idea of hard rock is something you listen to in your room at loud volumes because you hate doing homework or because you're angry at your mother for spreading chunky peanut butter on your lunch when you specifically asked for creamy, forget this one junior. This is more a record for the chain-smoking dive bar pool-shooter in all of us, who just cant keep away from the jukebox and would rather stay out than in. The pacing is expert, the storm rarely lets up, and the rock goods are delivered in spades throughout Mirror/Messnger -- and for it, we all win. Anyone bored with hard rock or thinks indie rock just doesn't "rock" enough, dig out the latest batch from Major Stars.

Most Read