Stark - Great Adventure Cigar
of the Common Street
to the world of pure genius, for what else can you expect
from a band consisting of members named Gizz Butt, Shop, and
Pinch. These are the men of Janus Stark - one of the latest
alternative rock bands from our mother country - England.
With Great Adventure Cigar, now you too can find out
what it would be like if Prodigy's live guitarist fronted
a band, because, amazingly enough, Gizz Butt is Prodigy's
are you have never heard of this member of Earache / Trauma
Records. That is, unless you have seen the movie Disturbing
Behavior. Their song "Every Little Thing Counts"
was the first song on the soundtrack, joining other members
of Trauma Records including The Flys. If you are one of the
few who have heard them before, congratulations. If not, well
you are lucky I am introducing you now.
Stark. . . well what can I say? They certainly are not anything
totally out of the ordinary - don't expect these guys to change
the face of music, but who really gives a damn? Their music
is still fun. With a casual listen the guitar sounds close
to the style you find often with new-wave punk. If you listen
closer, you will find a lot more though. The riffs are more
complicated and there is a generous helping of catchy licks
and even a few solos. The bassist is busy throughout the album,
shining through the most in "Floyd, What are You On?"
Butt's vocals are the part of the album I had the biggest
problem with. Note I said "had." After a few listens
it grew greatly upon me. This is most likely due to the differing
in style he uses throughout the album. Too be frank, the first
song got on my nerves, as the vocals sounded like a mix of
Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction / Porno for Pyros) and Johnny
Rotten (Sex Pistols). After this track I was amazed. This
band did something most of today's alt-rock bands don't do
- they changed styles. Now, the changes were nothing drastic,
but just enough so as to stop the album from sounding overly
repetitious. By the time I was halfway through track two I
was interested. By the time I was through track six I was
the thing that amazed me most was the quality of their lyrics.
When I picked up the cd I did not expect much from Gizz Butt
& Co. I was elated when I found they actually had a point
to get across in most songs. My personal favorite is "Panic
Attack" which took the idea of teenage rebellion to a
new level. It is an interesting story of a child who has taken
enough from his parent - a child who defies the commmon boundaries
and fights back. "Reach for the belt and find it's getting
used on you."
not afraid, popsters of the world. Janus Starks has plenty
in store for you as well. "Every Little Thing Counts"
is pure pop-rock. You can sing along! I bet you are excited
now. If you don't like the power-pop vocals and want quality
instrumentalism, the song will still fit you - it has some
excellent guitar work. This is the way the whole album works.
Most fans of alternative rock should be pleased by this album
from our British brothers. Songs like "Floyd, What are
You On?" and "White Man Speak with Fork Tongue"
talk to our generation, but take us back a few years to the
time when we used to hear good music on the alternative rock
3.5 out of