Game Day (Independent)
Star Collector bootstomps open the doors of Vancouver’s rock world with their fifth full-length release, Game Day. The album is yet another strong, ever-vibrant statement from guitarist/vocalist/svengali Vic Wayne and his tight squad of loyal sidekicks (lead guitarist Steve Monteith, bassist Adam East, and drummer Adrian Buckley), who’ve been pumping out quality albums since Jean Chretien was PM.
Shame on you all for not paying attention sooner.
The band’s modus-operandi remains an unending yearning to meld all the best butt-shaking elements of classic British rock (1960s through 1990s) into smart modern sonic nourishment for tired ears who just couldn’t give a tin shit about current active-rock playlists. In other words, there’s no constipated baritone growlings, no turgid rifferama, no incoherent mutterings about inarticulate neuroses—nothing like that here.
Insteads it’s only bright, jangling guitars, propulsive beats, and gleaming vocal harmonies, along with snappy stories about love and no love, and the love of life and the desire to love life—the reasons why we keep waking up every morning.
Happy familiar flashes and grin-inducing glimpses of Ray Davies and Pete Townshend and Paul Weller and Richard Butler and Richard Ashcroft and Damon Albarn and Jarvis Cocker pop and bubble up everywhere, song after song. But it’s all pure Star Collector, all the way. And guest appearances from the musical likes of Shane Hayes and Kevin Kane sure doesn’t hurt the proceedings any.
If the term “mod” is a shortened form of “modern,” then let’s hope the winning sounds of Vic & Co. help reshape the overall mopey aimlessness of too much of today’s guitar-driven mush and get us all back to where we once belonged—and bloody well keep us there.
(Standout tracks: “Stranger (Renting Space in My Head),” “The Silent Type” [showing Sloan how it’s done], “Super Zero Blues,” “Cayenne and Caramel,” and “Funeral Party.”)