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Staring Back - On (Cover Artwork)

Staring Back

Staring Back: OnOn (2002)
Lobster Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: HeinHein
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Maybe you are familiar with this Goleta band, as they are on Lobster for quite some time now, having released an EP "The Mean Streets of Goleta" (1999) and full-length "Many Will Play" (2001), although the members are all still in their early 20's. The weird thing is that I didn't recall how they so.
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Maybe you are familiar with this Goleta band, as they are on Lobster for quite some time now, having released an EP "The Mean Streets of Goleta" (1999) and full-length "Many Will Play" (2001), although the members are all still in their early 20's. The weird thing is that I didn't recall how they sounded, because I judged their last effort as rather dull and flat.

But!! A while before "On" was to be released I downloaded some tracks of this new album and I instantly knew that this one was going to be special. And I can tell you that this was no mistake: Not a boring second on this release, proving a real transformation is the least you can say. The songs are filled with ball-catching melodies at times, while there's the nowadays inevitable passionate parts as well, although they deserve credit for having these parts only last for a few seconds. The ingenuity in songwriting these guys have acquired themselves is really astonishing considering their previous releases.

And although I have to admit that the sound has some affection with present-day catchy "vocal" punkrock like Midtown, this album has clearly more powerful guitarplay, definitely more varying pace and a lot more daring (sometimes near screaming)vocals. The technicality of their guitarplay and pace of drums reaches Lagwagon standards. It's like a melodic hardcore band that's trampling down pop-punk songs.

Three songs got my stamp of highest approval for different reasons. "Six Eyes Too Far Away" has got the most beautiful vocalparts, "X.Out" is the absolute summit of tough technical guitarplay and "Feel Past The Words" is my favorite song with one of the best choruses I ever heard thanks to an amazing guitar looping through eminent vocals. I just can't understand why they repeat that chorus just once and not again at the end of the song.

Could it be that producer Cameron Webb (Lit, Tenacious D, Park, Dynamite Boy) had a big part in the overwhelming change of this band? Or is it just maturity? I don't really care, this is an example of entertaining hard-hitting modernday punkrock and I think it can be picked up by really everyone who enjoys good vocals and infectious guitarplay, whether you like it catchy or hard.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Whippersnapper - The Long WalkFar - Water & SolutionsAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandShai Hulud - Hearts Once Nourished With Hope and CompassionOver It - Timing Is EverythingDillinger Escape Plan - Ire WorksStreetlight Manifesto - Somewhere in the BetweenAlkaline Trio - Agony & IronyThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundFoo Fighters - There Is Nothing Left to Lose

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (June 12, 2004)

okay now theres some interestin readin...

Anonymous (January 2, 2003)

This album is amazing, the way they tear through melodic hardcore punk is great. There isn't a boring song on the album and the song order flows extremely well. The guitar work and lyrics are also amzing. Definitely check out this band and all the other bands on Lobster Records.

crazyjeb (November 4, 2002)

Pop-punk...eh...not stereotypically. It's got some metal influence and some more radio friendly stuff on it too...but it's very Over It in a lot of ways as well. Take that however you want.

Jeb

Anonymous (November 3, 2002)

Staring Back are the poster boys for how shitty the SB music scene is, fuck off bitches

Anonymous (November 2, 2002)

I for the most part really wasn't into this band until I saw them live and then got "On". Great to see live, nice people to talk to, and "On" is one of the best pop-punk albums of the year. Perhaps label mates Mock Orange had a bit of an influence on this effort. These youngins are gonna come out with more amazing stuff in the future. You can bank on it!

Anonymous (November 1, 2002)

This record is off the heezy fo sheezy. This record is rockin and etertaining from the first second to the last.

Ramo

sickboi (October 31, 2002)

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't like the production. The vocals are way high. Good band though.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

Their improvement is all because of their new drummer. Gavin rocks!!! (He's my band's old drummer)

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