Starlings – ‘Weight In Gold’ (Civil Music)

Take a dose of Simple Minds, a pinch of Talk Talk and a sprinkling of Human League and what have you got? If this was a physical manifestation of the recipe, then the outcome would be a pot of slightly portly, pretty much past it rock stars you might be tempted to call an old person’s home to administer. But, if you’re talking musically, then you’d somehow end up with the Starlings, the latest electronically inclined rock band to be spawned straight from the streets of Sheffield.

Aided by Beyond the Wizard Sleeve’s Richard Norris, the four piece’s ‘Weight In Gold’ doffs its cap in an almost terrifyingly loyal manner to the reverb coated punk funk created by Jim Kerr et al. Although undeniably catchy, only time will tell whether this is enough to guarantee the Starlings anything more than being another band tagged as ‘ones to watch’ in 2011. The Whip, for example, whom the Starlings share a similar passion for blending synths and guitars, never really climbed any further…

It’s up to nu-bass head Starkey to add some much needed edge to proceedings. The Philadelphia homed producer has upped the ante with a glut of remixes for the likes of Tempa T, Kano and Tinie Tempah over the past year and his latest rewiring shows he’s not taking his foot off the digital gas. A shuddering, chrome hoofed beat transports the original straight to the heart of the rave without sacrificing any of the potency of the vocal – Starkey dresses the Starlings up for the dance floor using cut up effects and cosmic cloaks made from the finest purple synthesisers. Think Joker’s rerub of Turbo Weekend’s Trouble Is and you’re dancing in the same r‘n‘b/grime/computer game music ballpark…

Jim Ottewill

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