steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"Somewhere Across Forever" CDEP

Tiswas Records

Genres: nerd rock, indie rock

band website

Mar 3 - 9 2003

Nerd rock, geek rock, whatever.  You know what it is.  It's the type of stuff that calls up the mental image of a bunch sort-of lame-looking guys donned with big, thick-rimmed glasses playing guitar and singing.  Chances are, if you're an indie rock fan with a secret obsession with Weezer, stellastarr* (they like it in lower caps, thank you) will appeal to you just fine.

Now, I must state, it's hard to judge a band by a three-song promotional EP, but these three tracks certainly present a nice slice of where stellastarr*'s influences lie.

We start off with "Somewhere Across Forever," which, despite its lame title, is a particularly tight track.  Though it's lacking in originality, the band make it work by way of simple, hummable melodies and a certain geekiness that would put Rivers Cuomo to shame.

"No Weather" then comes on in a gust of jerky guitars, male vocals, and a nice, female-sung chorus.  It has a strong eighties vibe to it, with elements of Cheap Trick and The Cars definitely present.  Though it certainly isn't synth-pop, there is a strong vibe of that genre present in the track.

The final track is "School Ya," a very emo-informed tune that combines a strong emotional tone with the band's standard geekiness to create a motherfuckin' angst stew.  But, the vocals avoid being too whiny, and stellastarr* manage to pull it off with minimal lameness.  When they bring everything together for a slightly Walkmen-inspired bit in the last two minutes, the song's got a very nice vibe going on, standing somewhere between art rock and straight-up indie pop.

Filled with energy, a nice pop ethic, and a flare for noise pop, stellastarr* have created a really nice EP here.  Though it's questionable whether their nerd rock sound was intentional - and some too-hip-for-you listeners may be averted by the initial concept of lending an ear to anything remotely uncool - most indie rockers will likely still be able to enjoy Somewhere Across Forever without shame.


Fun Fact: stellastarr* have opened for such well-known acts as The Apples In Stereo, The Frogs, Mooney Suzuki, and even Joe Strummer!

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 3 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]