Lab Partners - Review for Daystar:
Splendid

Lab Partners isn't the most intimate name for a band, is it? Think of it -- two or more people flung together for the purpose of cutting open a pig or measuring the number of times a pendulum passes a single point in a minute. At least it implies experimentation, so perhaps we should be forgiving.


Daystar is a great example of dramatic, symphonic pop. Besides obvious early influences such as the Jesus and Mary Chain and Smashing Pumpkins, there's also an apparent kinship with Spiritualized in these often lugubrious compositions. The thing that sets them apart from the shameless and exhausted bands that came before them is a surprising lack of contrivance. Yes, they're concerned with style -- and the entire recording drips with it -- but there's a sense that while they are overtly attempting to sound like these other bands, they also actually enjoyed and appreciated them, which is more than we can say for so many other ventures. Still, while they understand the distortion and reverb batter that constitutes the shoegazer genre, they provide little of the psychedelic swirl that lies atop the finer slices. This is ethereal, pretty, and better than standard fare, but a bit too soft and familiar