Review by: Sarah Vardy
Video & photos courtesy of Artist

Starline is set to launch their music to the stars with their “CJM” debut album. The Houston based, electro-rock duo has put together an impressive, 11-track record filled with intricate and well-crafted layers of sound. The release was recorded at the infamous Sugar Hill Recording Studios in Houston and produced by Grammy winner Steve Christensen. If you dig on She Wants Revenge, Interpol, Depeche Mode or even The Black Keys your ear holes will probably enjoy Starline.

The first song on the album Bruise kicks off with some tight, traditional rock, rhythmic elements and an overdriven guitar caught in a catchy riff. The lyrical content alludes to the paparazzi, which isn’t surprising given that the band is comprised of Matt Maloney (former NBA point guard) and Calvin Stanley III (former front man of the band Pale).

Every track is a little different and has a definitive feel to it with some awe-inspiring engineering techniques. The third track on the album Platinum Spider is pretty cool as it starts off panning erratic synth notes between the left and right speakers. It’s a little freaky like a darting spider.

The track It’s On has a darker, edgier vibe akin to Muse that continues for the remainder of the record. The vocal delivery is moodier and more desperate than the other tracks. Dark electro is always sexy. The song Downgrade also has a similar intense feel with beats reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. The bass line in Unloveable is notable ushering in a penetrating and tortured vocal delivery with a sea of instrumentation creeping up like a dark veil that envelopes you in it’s strength.

There’s a nice juxtaposition between live and electronic instrumentation throughout the record that keeps the listener engaged. The overall production of the album is inspiring with stand out synth lines, a myriad of post-production effects on acoustic instruments, and perfectly sculpted vocals resulting in a very polished, well-balanced sound. The release is now available via Spotify and most digital content providers. The album was named in honor of Maloney’s brother, Christopher, who passed away in 2013.

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