If It Ain't Broke, Break It!

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For those who know a lot about the history of L.A.'s club scene, the name Starwood has a very exciting connotation. Located on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, the Starwood was a '70s- early- '80s club that booked a lot of important metal, hard rock, punk and new wave bands -- everyone from Van Halen to the Go-Go's to the Runaways played there. So when an L.A. band calls itself Starwood, one cannot help but remember a wilder, less introspective era of rock music -- an era that Starwood enthusiastically recalls on If It Ain't Broke, Break It!. There is nothing even remotely introspective about this 2004 release; the lyrics, like the hooks and melodies, are a throwback to the pop-metal, hard rock and glam rock of the '70s and '80s. If It Ain't Broke, Break It! is an exercise in trashy, decadent, unapologetically sleazy fun, and Starwood successfully draws on influences ranging from the New York Dolls, Slade and Alice Cooper to Cheap Trick, Quiet Riot, Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Guns N' Roses and Sweet. No one will accuse these guys of emulating Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder or Courtney Love; If It Ain't Broke, Break It! happily takes us back to a time when hard rockers were concerned with casual sex and partying, not offering an in-depth analysis of their deeper emotions. Starwood's perspective is definitely a pre-Nirvana, pre-Pearl Jam, pre-Creed perspective -- it's the perspective of the leatherbound, motorcycle-riding, politically incorrect bad boys who, back in the day, horrified feminists to no end but never had a problem getting a date. If It Ain't Broke, Break It! won't win any awards for innovation, but diehard fans of '70s- and '80s- hard rock will be happy to have Starwood around in the 21st century.

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