Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stardeath and White Dwarfs

I’ve you’re trying to get somewhere in the crazy world of the music business, having a famous (musical) relative must be a mixed blessing. On one hand you can probably get them to open a few doors, but on the other, you’re left open to accusations of nepotism and being given an unfair hand-up. I mean, look at what kind of flak Lily Allen took, and her dad isn’t even in the music business (Fat Les doesn’t really count).

Still, if I was in that position, I wouldn’t be complaining too much. I’d utilise my connections as much as I could. Dennis Coyne seems to be doing that so far, and why shouldn’t he? His band Stardeath and White Dwarfs might otherwise never have been heard of outside the Midwest circuit. But now they’ve got a single out on British label Half Machine Records (the folks who brought you Theoretical Girl and MIT), artwork designed by Uncle Wayne, and support slots at Flaming Lips shows. So far so good.

On the evidence of the two tracks on the forthcoming single, it's not just the mad artwork that bears that mark of Dennis’ famous relative - the pleasant Beatlesy psychedelic pop evident on their cover of Toast and Marmalade for Tea (check the original here) is none too far from the Lip's quieter, more recent moments, and the slightly more chaotic, synthy and experimental Chemical is reminiscent of the days when Oklahoma's finest were a bit more out-there. That's only two songs though, so I turn to their myspace for more clues. The tunes there again veer towards the psych and the pop. They claim their influences are Elton John and Yes, and wish their sound to be that which “might occur if King Crimson and Coldplay got stoned and had sex with each other”. That actually sounds really rubbish, and what I can hear is better than that. Again, slightly dreamy, woozy and not really very long guitar pop songs. Nothing remarkable, nothing groundbreaking. Just decent tunes. Sometimes that’s enough.

Download: Stardeath and White Dwarfs – Toast and Marmalade for Tea

The 7 inch is out on Half Machine Records on 18 February. You can pre-order from Rough Trade.