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[Off The Record]
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Starflyer 59
(Tooth & Nail)

Starflyer 59 are not your average Christian rock band. They’re, well, really good, for one thing. They’re not pedantic proselytizers, for another. Instead, Easy Come Easy Go — a 35-track double disc set of " greatest hits, " B-sides, and live tracks recorded between 1994 and last year — show off what this Irvine (California) band are really about: making reverb- and echo-drenched dreampop that nods in spirit to the respective legacies of the Flying Nun– and Creation-label bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s. The material, culled from five albums and a string of EPs, is outstanding throughout, revealing principal songwriter Jason Martin as an emerging talent with an intuitive feel for both the lovely melodic moment and the noisy rapture of needle-in-the-red overdrive. He favors either a laconic deadpan or a drowsy whisper that seems to float, suspended, in a blissed-out cosmos of its own creation.

The highlights here are many — on the first disc, there’s the rich, Cocteau Twins–ish swoon of " Harmony, " the Ride/Chapterhouse swirladelica of " Hazelwould, " and the abraded My Bloody Valentine/Jesus and Mary Chain wallop and drone of " A Housewife Love Song. " Both discs feature what is arguably Starflyer 59’s finest composition, the gorgeous " Play the ‘C’ Chord, " which is performed live and in the studio. The clutch of concert tracks that closes out the second disc shows the band ably extending their hazy charms to the stage. Martin’s guitar alternately chimes and roars, bends and bows, with verve and desire as the rest of the group bash away admirably behind him.


Issue Date: April 5 - 11, 2001

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