Call them acid-rock, call them stoner metal, or even call them an indie jam band. But whatever you do, make sure that you emphasize the “major” in Major Stars, because after one listen to 4 you will see how this Bostonian quartet takes every little grain of salt to epic and mammoth proportions 4 is their fourth album and clocks in at just under thirty-eight minutes, having only four songs; two of them long and two of them short. `Nuff said.
“How to Be” is a grungy little shoegazer piece cut from the cloth of Dinosaur Jr. and the Screaming Trees. Singer/guitarist Wayne Rogers enticing and unglued vocals are cast along perfectly with the chops of fellow guitarist Kate Biggar’s progressive-minded trippy methods. Be sure to have your lava lamps heated up for this one. Major Stars also shows their more avant garde side when it comes to the crisp verses in “All or Half the Time” that merge with its arty spine.
The rhythm section shows some steady standardization together on the adventurous “Song for Turner” until a straight up psychedelic onrush is crammed into your ears with feedback and all. Drummer David Lynch shows no mercy upon the cymbals that he pulverizes as the guitar jams throttle into a kaleidoscopic mode which sounds like a live Grateful Dead bootleg being played at the same time as the soundtrack to the film Singles. But wait a second! Did somebody say “riffs”?!! Oh yeah! The big doom-filled ones come landing in after the first six minutes as “Song for Turner” goes into a sun-baked stoner metal tundra that ensures this song will be equally enjoyed by anybody who ends all of their sentences with the words “dude”, “bro”, or “man.”
“Phantom #1” kicks off with a full five minutes of poised droning that seems to be too much after about two minutes. Lynch finally manages to sneak in his tribal drum templates as the dual guitar screeching goes along with Tom Leonard’s huffy bass lines, driving the track into lysergic overdrive.
While Major Stars haven’t made anything as spellbinding as their 1998 debut Rock Revival, 4 probably makes for their best effort since then. So gather round all your friends and break out the bean bags and blotter paper and take your mind on a short vacation courtesy of Major Stars.
Comets on Fire – Blue Cathedral
Kyuss – Welcome to Sky Valley
Crystallized Movements – Revelations from Pandemonium