Welcome back to The Rock Show, where it’s all about the music! One of my goals with the resurrection of the blog is to bring attention to new and interesting bands who might slip through the cracks. Here’s one of them.
On July 8 of this year, a new band called Starset released their debut album, Transmissions.
Now, I’m always looking for new music, but oftentimes new bands sound a lot like old bands. Or, at least, like a lot of other new bands. Which isn’t always a bad thing. Some bands are so good that it’s fun to hear more who sound like them. But it’s even better when a new band comes along with something completely fresh and interesting–something that really stands out among its contemporaries. And that’s the case with Starset and their debut album. It’s a breath of fresh air during a year where new music in general is a scarcity, let alone new music that stands out.
First of all, Transmissions is a very healthy blend of many musical styles. Post-hardcore, emo, punk, hard rock, prog, and alternative all find a home on the album. There’s a certain familiarity running through it, but each turn throws something unexpected at you. Between well-placed keyboards, aggressive vocal passages, and transitions between tracks full of sci-fi goodness, the band takes a unique approach to hard rock and makes it almost operatic. But it’s never overblown–the songs still have a catchiness to them that makes them radio-friendly and easy to digest, while still being musically complex and interesting. That’s not always an easy balance to strike.
What’s even more intriguing about the band is that they’re based completely on a concept. Meaning not only is Transmissions a concept album, but the band itself is built around it. Their website contains a whole bunch of information about the story–basically that a transmission sent from the Ophiuchus constellation told the future of mankind, and The Starset Society has taken on the role of spreading the message. There are plenty more details on the band’s website. I’ve only just begun to delve into the mythos and the story behind the album, but I’ve always been a fan of proggy stuff like this, so it goes without saying that I’m on board with a band whose music represents an ongoing story.
The band currently has a bunch of tour dates scheduled, and a few are nearby as well. Most notably, they’re playing the TLA on November 18. See more tour dates here.
We’ll see how the rest of the year goes, but I definitely anticipate this album earning a high ranking on the Best Albums of the Year list (which will be making a comeback this year). This is a band to watch for sure. Give them a listen and decide for yourself!
~The Rock Show, where it’s all about the music!