In 1997, Philippine band Razorback released its third album, Star. The band's first two albums, 1995's Hebigat Sounds Volume One and 1997's Beggar's Moon, were rooted in American Southern rock, though on the latter album, the band also explored other avenues, including the use of varied tempo changes. Though the Southern sound is still heard on Star, much of the music is more hard rock in tone and spirit, nearly metal, something along the lines of Metallica's 1996 album, Load. Star, therefore, can be considered a major departure from Razorback's previous two albums. As before, though, the two-lead guitar front line of David Aguirre and Tirso Ripoll is the main attraction. The songs on Star are tighter than heard on 1997's Beggar's Moon, which was marred by overwrought meandering on some songs. The guitar playing on Star remains outstanding and imaginative, weaving a magical pattern in and around the confident vocals of Kevin Roy. "Voodoo, Who Do?" is a powerful song, resonating atop a syncopated backbeat and a catchy chorus, and the title song rocks fiercely, also incorporating a hazy, dream-like tempo change. The songs on Star are intricately arranged, intelligent and forceful. However, despite all this, several songs have a droning sameness, and would benefit from catchier hooks and melodies. On the whole, though, Star is a commendable venture into new territory for the band. Though several songs received radio airplay, including "Voodoo, Who Do?," album sales were lower than expected, according to the label (there are no sales charts in the Philippines).
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