Written by DJ St. Kilda
Your first indication that Portland 5 piece Starfucker isn’t just your average indie synth pop band might be their name, chosen just to see “how long they could get away with it.” Or it might be in the first few seconds of their latest release Jupiter when you hear the fragmented musings of British philosopher Alan Watts echoing through the keyboard lines.
Jupiter, released in November 2011 on Badman Recording Co., is actually an expansion of a mini-LP the band put out back in 2009. The re-release features re-mastered tracks and three new songs.
Lead singer Josh Hodges carries the energetic tracks with conversely subtle, breathy, and soft-spoken vocals. While Hodges is the lead singer of the band, Starfucker is a very collaborative group, with all of the members switching off between playing guitar, keyboard, and drums. Everyone also provides backing vocals.
At Starfucker’s live shows, the crowd favorite is clearly their cover of Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun, but I would direct listeners to the more complex tracks on the album, such as Medicine and Boy Toy.
I will say that I do prefer the more lyric heavy Reptilians, the band’s other 2011 LP (released in March on Polyvinyl) to Jupiter, of which five tracks have no lyrics at all. At times it feels that Jupiter is simply an extended EP, stretched just a bit farther than it was ever meant to go.
Regardless, Jupiter plants Starfucker right where they deserve to be: a creative, forward-thinking, and boundary pushing band. The music alone will get you moving and hungry for more material. The Alan Watts audio clips, on the other hand, may get you thinking. These so-called “subliminal messages” on Aristotle, science, and mortality give you the feeling that Starfucker may want you to do a little bit more than just dance.
2. Boy Toy
5. Biggie Smalls
Already a fan of Starfucker? Then check out Painted Palms, Neon Indian, Slow Magic, Body Language, Miami Horror, Delorean, Holy Ghost!