Starfucker

Starfucker (Badman Records)

The band's name is crass, and song titles like "Myke Ptyson" and "Iaadeedaa" hardly help bolster any early confidence in liking them. But Starfucker's self-titled debut is, indeed, a smart, multi-layered gem of indie-pop splendor.

The album's opener, "Florida," establishes the band's simple yet delightfully complex sound with its dreamy guitar riffs and soothing, oft-falsetto vocals. Starfucker lays out the band's unique brand of widely eclectic pop music by giving listeners rad 8-bit synths laced with jangly guitars. The trio, from Portland, Oregon, is able to brilliantly mesh handclaps (too often overlooked in today's music), acoustic guitar, pre-recorded speeches and the sound of children playing—however ill-fitting those components should be—with drumbeats that sound like invitations to the dance floor.

However, it is the album's charm and the band's lack of fear that allows this madcap concoction to work, and work quite well. Starfucker's status is solidified the moment when "Hard Smart Beta" segues, perhaps melts, into the appropriately named "Pop Song." That moment, those 10 seconds of crunchy synth-static, are finally greeted with luscious vocals, and for the remainder of the track, all seems right with the cosmos.

 
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