Lead by the sometimes powerful, at other times sultry vocal stylings of Simara Rose, devoutly vegan social activist band Starlit bring a strong goth/industrial/metal hybrid to the table on She Was a Spicy She-Wolf. While the idea of blending industrial metal riffing with an electro-goth skeletal frame is nothing particularly new, few bands have done it with such flare, strong songwriting, and immaculate production. Every element of the album seems carefully and deliberately constructed, from the varied and near perfect choice of vocal effects to its excellent lead guitar and synth accents. There's almost always something ear-catching going on, whether it be a particularly intuitive rhythm, a notable underpinning synth layer, or an interesting guitar riff.
Highlights here include the opening "Muther", steady percussion and guitar riffing rife with eerie goth charisma, as well as the ultra-up-tempo "Transformation", whose chorus/bridge melodies are some of the most memorable here. The plodding industrial "Heart in a Cage", its chorus oddly airier and more melodic, is another standout, as is the very club-friendly industrial metal of "Sanctuary". Perhaps the most interesting, not to mention most surprising, offering here, however, is "Modern Love", an unexpected late night lounge number complete with brass and piano supplemented by sharply rhythmic moments of industrial rock brilliance with distorted vocals that fit in seamlessly.
As a whole, Starlit's She Was a Spicy She-Wolf is a spectacular collection of songs, intricate in both songwriting and production, that's unusually solid and interesting. While their sonic formula isn't particularly original, what they do with it is, and the resulting album is one that's certainly worth a listen.
Starlit on myspace: www.myspace.com/starlit
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