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Starch - "Children And Women First"
Bitch-Slap Records 2001

What's this all about? Something new from U.S.A. A band in line-up of guitar/vocals twins, bass guitar/vocals and drums tries to get a reputation in mixing elements of thrash, grunge, and rap music. Let's say that they are some kind of nu-metal in their early evolution. Rhythm line is very strong. We have strong and aggressive thrashy riffing mainly trapped in half tuned music lines. There is no place for lead breaks or any solos. You won't find any of Starch guys who will try to overpiss I. E. Malmsteen, M. Portnoy or B. Sheehan. That's not their style and such sort of adventures in their music could kill voltage that is achieved with thrashy drive rhythms. Everything circulates around groovy bass guitar and drums work. This serves as a basic frame for further band's experiments.

What can impress you from the first moment you'll slide the CD in is very alive underground garage sound, which I miss very much even when listening to established super metal stars, 'cause they are polishing their sound too much. So that cymbals sometimes overrule the whole band's sound is nothing special. Anyway in future (if Starch will survive, and I wish good luck to you Starch dudes) they should improve the production a little bit in balancing of their instruments. Guitar riffing should be also pushed more in front of production. You won't find quality metal vocal god sounding R. Halford, G. Tate or Dio in Starch music. Starch doesn't need that.

Groovier parts of prechoruses are perforated with work of all three vocals. Elements of rap are of course included in most of the songs. The eighth song ("We're Sensitive") begins with an intro of non-tuned acoustic guitar, that also serves for covering the vocal lines in prechorus. Typical grunge approach. Even the singing. Like if Eddie Vedder (with sore throat) joined the band.

Lyrics. From the first moment it is obvious that they are trying to win the younger masses on the market. They're talking about farting, taking shit, sexual organs, having sex, smoking marihuana, drinking large amounts of alcohol stuff and all sorts of other "forbidden and heathen rituals", you can anticipate also in hearing a very courageous sentence: "I'm gonna kick you in the head, 'till you're fuckin' dead!" But there is nothing wrong with that. We're all having sex, we're farting, some of us are also kicked in the head from time to time, and we're smoking grass. And what the hell is wrong with talking loud about those things? It is just the pure truth. So all of you who like Beavies And Butthead, Starch is the right choice for you.

This band is also a right choice for all of you who like straight aggressive half-tuned thrashy riff attacks with groovy rhythm lines and very alive unclean garage sound. Starch goes straight into ear. Just try it.

Author:   Aleš

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