The Starve

The Starve

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Are the Starve the future of rock & roll? Well, let's put it this way -- if (like myself) you believe that the best rock & roll often comes from snotty kids with cheap guitars and more attitude than they know what to do with, then the Starve are likely to be just your cup of cheap beer, the sound of five neophyte rockers taking the basic building block of rock music and having big loud fun stacking 'em up and knocking 'em around. Splitting the difference between old-school punk and '60s garage raunch, the Starve aren't exactly redefining rock as we know it on their self-released EP, but what makes them great isn't what they do, but how they do it. K.P. Manchester's guitar work and Jennifer Fang's sustained Farfisa chords are at once dirt simple and overflowing with energy and belief, while Manchester's vocals strike the perfect balance between amateurish enthusiasm and studied cool (Jennifer Haynes' lead vocal on "Pretty Lines" manages the same feat on the other side of the gender gap). The tunes are mostly three-chord crunch, but great three-chord crunch, with hooks and swagger to spare, and the lyrics handle the classic themes -- love, lust, wild good times, rock & roll -- with a sense of humor that never gets in the way of the fact they obviously dig this stuff. And the overdriven lo-fi recording and inspired DIY packaging (the sleeve to our copy was fashioned from an empty 12-pack of PBR) turns their low budget into an asset instead of an drawback -- this is how teen punk is SUPPOSED to look and sound. There are thousands of bands that do what the Starve do on this EP, but no more than a handful manage to do it quite so well; it's smart, fun, street-level rock & roll from five kids with great ideas and the will to put 'em on plastic, and when THAT stops being the future of rock & roll, we're all in a lot of trouble.

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