It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of the guys from 4star. That perfect mixture of Eminem style hip hop rapping of Adam and that dense and contorted, drum’n’bass and dubstep flavored instrumentals of Peter with a taste of Subsource/Black Futures and roots back to Reznor and NIN, simply nailed me. While 99.9% of the current mainstream electronic/EDM scene it’s nothing but a (bad) joke and the underground it’s not allowed to surface, these guys fined a pretty cool breach of their own, they are dumb enough to play their own music and not to follow the trends.
While their debut album – Daylight (2011) – was taking to laugh most of the issues which bothered Adam, this time his approach it’s considerably darker and the whole set-up it’s more experimental, psychedelic here and there and… darker. Although I hate to use the “dark” label because I consider it inconsistent. But this second installment of 4star it’s less edgy and more gloomy then the debut album. Adam’s not joking anymore and he’s lyrics this time are more serious and tense. This album it’s not dark, but honest.
If there would be really free and alternative media, 4star would become stars. But there isn’t. And it’s a shame! This whole word is and honestly we can do anything about it. But as these guys have enjoyed tracking these songs, I have the luxury to enjoy their release. I feel lucky and so can you. Buy their stuff and help independent artists to stay on the scene. Or don’t and enjoy the 374th posthumous Michael Jackson album and the next 50 Cent release which it’s pretty much the same s*it with the previous and the following one, only the song titles are changed. Eventually.
Even if we might feel like it’s getting worst, they say: nothing changed. This is bad? This is good? Let’s hear it!!
“Ultraviolet” could be a modern, intensely electronic, still quite psychedelic The Who song. There is a classic British flavor in it, but with this nowadays fancy sound. This is a surprisingly smooth start. But it keep you focused. The chorus it’s bitter sweet and it will ringing in your ears.
“Breaking The Ground” follow in the same quiet and gentle way, although the chorus explode and we’re floating in a distorted cyber-future space of the post-industrial sound.
“Runaround” it’s one of my favorites. The synths are huge and Adam bring life into it with his Eminem type of rapping. It’s a flawless mixture of Reznor type of textures and rhythmic build-up and post dubstep flavors. Definitively addictive and catchy.
“Fading Out” it’s not simply dark, but it’s the heart of the dark. Quite cinematic and minimalist in the manner of Reznor/Atticus Ross, it’s a kind of interlude.
“Not Coming Down” kick in loud and contorted, dubstep and industrial sounds are merged together and the song culminates in a very subtle and melodious after chorus bridge.
“Equilibrium” have the vibe of the old NIN productions only Adam’s rapping add a different groove to the song and bring it closer to the Subsource type of sound. Hard not to bang on it!
“No Peace” put together contorted post-dubstep distortions and oscillations with hip hop grooves. Love the spaces and the subtle layers.
“Never Gonna Smile Again” it’s another favorite, an anthem in the manner of Subsource/Black Futures where dubstep, punk and rap are merged together perfectly.
And the album only getting better! “Battersea” it’s another possible anthem, it’s pretty hard to get rid of its chorus once its get into your ears. And hard not to jump up and dance like a maniac. Simple and efficient arrangement, killer grooves and cool vocals are the ingredients of these songs.
I’m Keeping Me Down” it’s another slower and gloomier take, melodious vocals are floating above some smoothly filtered synth layers while Adam’s rapping seems unstoppable. Really nice.
“Scream Your Love” have a cool modern EDM flavor with roots back to the industrial music of the late 80’s, early 90’s in the manner of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Cool and perfect for the dancefloor.
“Boys Will Be Boys” bring fury and high energy together in a song which may grind you into the ground. The rhythmic build-up it’s brilliant and the synths are creating the perfect atmo and tension to support for Adam’s verbal aggression. The song shifting form one sound to another smoothly and the fusion of styles it’s flawless. Great track!
“Talent” bring the aggressive sound one step further, love the drums and the rapping while the noises adding a sparking flavor to the song. Different, still the same 4star and exciting throughout.
“Whole Night” cool things down once again, but still keep the listener alert. The chorus it’s fabulous, love the mixture of different flavors and melodies.
“Nothing Changed” it’s their way to say farewell. I still hope this is not a good-bye forever and they will come back to hit us hard.
In a fair world this album should be a hit. But I’m afraid it’s not a fair world.
Steal it or buy it, mandatory!!!