Yup, nothing could represent the power of indie music that Philadelphia’s own Stellarscope. They are back with a new album called Shades of Sadness and Sorrow. They are improving on the sound that defines them as a band: a combination of 80’s post punk, dream pop and Gothic atmosphere.
There are 10 songs from this album. Shades of Sadness and Sorrow is their latest release after The End is Near. I’m Not Prepared (March 2014). The album will be officially launched early this March 2015. It is amazing that the Shades of Sadness and Sorrow sounds complex considering that there are only two personnel under Stellarscope: Tom Lugo and Bob Forman.
The recording is so lo-fi you would think you are listening to a cassette tape from some obscure 80s band. And that’s the way I like it. In a way it is a trip to the bast while at the same time the subject is very much relevant to what’s going on in the world. The vocals sound like they could have been recorded inside an abandoned factory as you can notice in the echo.
Dug this Hole greets us with its energetic style plastic through speakers. Perhaps this might be the band’s carrier single. We will see. It is hard to choose which track stands out. There’s Never Hated Like This (which I can personally relate to following the tragic personal events in my life three years ago). Although I think Living in a Haze is my favorite of all. I love the hazy guitar sounds that encircle the song creating a plasma of stellar radiation amidst the pulsing rhythm.
Farewell sounds like an intro from either a Sioux’s or old Cure song. I don’t know how to describe it…but classy could a fitting word. The Mansonisque Eat Your Heart Out sounds a bit chaotic but the drums are crunchy like spicy peanuts. After the aggression and robust sounds of the previous tracks, It’s All Gone Slows the pace. The glorious guitars of Soul Disturbances reminds me a bit of Bauhaus especially that the singing is unmistakably Peter Murphy. I love it! Face the Dirt closes this carousel ride with high notes.
Stellarscope proves that what is beautiful about rock in the 80’s is here to stay. And it is a joy to be showered by music like this at a time when everything feels bland.