Starters - Reasons to Stay (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Reasons to Stay (2010)

Hurry Up!

The way Starters open this EP, Reasons to Stay, is sort of exciting. "Like a Cancer Grows" is the longest track, and it begins with a charred, strained riff and a brash yell of "Tell me what the secret is!" While you can tell the band is relatively young and playing something considerably poppy at times, this moment hints at some sort of great catharsis that might be explored later on.

Sound-wise–let's say that if Run for Cover Records had a junior league, these guys wouldn't be a bad draft pick. They've got a mix of newer pop-punk and emo influences that blends decently and creatively for what they do. And while Reasons to Stay can't come up with another great moment like that first one, the Irish act still show a certain potential. Even in the rest of "Like a Cancer Grows", whether it's intertwining dual vocals and guitars, a spinning riff in the last minute, or this one morose strum that comes in the bridge, there are these isolated points that are impressive. They explore quick tempo changes in "Light Sparks" and "Nowhere Else I'd Go", wailing away a bit on the latter.

The other four tracks on this CD version from Hurry Up! Records are a bonus addendum, coming from the band's 2010 demo. The growing pains here are somewhat more evident, from the susceptible popcore elements of "Fight or Flight" to the greater vocal contrast of yelp-singing and more growly backups in "Geocache Girl" and "Hopeless But Devoted". The general tone throughout the songs ain't too bad, though. Also, much of closer "Might as Well Be Dead" reminds me of Late Nite Wars, which might just show how the band is too stooped in a modern sound. But like the newer EP shows, the band is making strides.

Reasons to Stay EP