Dear Superstar : Damned Religion

They Say :- Dear Superstar opened their own Superstar Studios to the public and started recording their definitive album Damned Religion between March 2010 and August 2011. Produced by David Jones and mixed by legendary producer Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Atreyu), the new album is a darker heavy-rock affair, dripping with swagger, anger and killer hooks.

Micky describes the album, “After being blessed with such an incredible touring history, we owed it to everyone to come back with a world class record. David really pushed us creatively, emotionally and physically to literally rip open up our souls on every track. With Bob Marlette putting all the pieces together, the end result still sounds like a Dear Superstar record but darker, more defined, and something we are all unbelievably proud of.”

We Say :- I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Dear Superstar supporting bands I’ve been to see up and down the country over the last few years. While I’ve never been blown away by them in the live arena I’ve never really been too offended by their racket either. Inevitably I’ve been more interested in the band they were supporting, and all memories of their set has fallen out the back of my head (or the bottom of a pint glass) by the end of the night. So I was quite interested to hear what they had put down on record for their latest effort ‘Damned Religion’.

General sound wise, Dear Superstar fall somewhere in between the sleazy hair metal of the eighties, such as Motley Crue, and the mainstream British metal of today, say Bullet for my Valentine. Micky Satiar’s voice contains just enough spit for the verses but also shows a strong melodic side in the many sing-along choruses strung out across ‘Damned Religion’. The band behind him pump out some familiar mainstream sounding tracks but cannot be faulted really, there’s some great guitar work on the album and the songs are well put together throughout. Big name help with the guitars comes from Buckcherry’s Stevie D on ‘Our City Sleeps’. So the band have obviously made some friends in high places whilst putting the hard work in on the road.

‘Our City Sleeps’ and the title track are two of the strongest tracks available here. ‘Last Rites’  follows a similar pattern of big sing along choruses but ends in a bit of a heavy breakdown and Micky’s vocals gain an extra gallon of bile making it one of my favourites. As with many bands treading the commercial line, lyrically Dear Superstar can fall a bit flat. Lines like “She’s got crystal eyes/now I’m crystallised” and “You glitter just like gold/so fucking precious” can leave some songs with a bit of a cheap aftertaste, but they’ve clearly gone for catchy rather than clever which may be a good move to get noticed. ‘Tomorrow’ is the big ballad of the album and will no doubt be one of the songs used to promote the album, it still rocks hard though and slowly builds to a brash pile of guitars mid-way through.

Overall Dear Superstar have got together a good set of tracks to take out on the road with them. They have some big sounding songs to go along with their glam/sleaze style, making them an attractive package to young rock fans dipping their toes into some heavier waters. The big anthemic sing-alongs will be a bit too sickly for fans of heavier less mainstream stuff, but they’ve already stopped reading anyway…