If the cover doesn’t give it away, the sound in the grooves of this long-player surely will. The reason why Stardeath & The White Dwarfs sound like the Flaming Lips is because the Lips employ the Dwarfs as roadies.
Oh, and the leader is Wayne Coyne’s nephew.
Who knows if nepotism gets you a deal with Warner Bros., and at this point, who cares? But it is kind of neat to think how a psychedelic rock band from Oklahoma released their debut album on a major label before the vast majority of us had even heard a note. And when you line up The Birth next to the Lips’ own debut Hear It Is, you’ll notice how meticulously crafted the youngsters have made their debut. Indeed, if we’re comparing apples to Uncles, SWD are already around the sonic landscape of Hit To Death In The Future Head.
Which ain’t a bad album to emulate, if you ask me.
Clocking in at an efficient half-hour or so, SWD use every bit of magnetic tape to flex their stereophonic arrangements and obvious talents as multi-instrumentalists. When they’re not taking blotter moments from their neighbors, they’re taking cues from MGMT, spinning swirling keyboards and gnarly bass patterns together for a trippy nod towards dance floor rhythms.
Highlights are when the band just gets down to simple jamming—like the thunderstick-workout “Those Who Are From The Sun Return To The Sun” and when they stay close to the Lips’ script. “Smoking Pot Makes Me Not Want To Kill Myself” ends the effort with a wink to Uncle Wayne’s creative song titling and with the ability to make a few chords sound like an epic statement. Then you start remembering that you heard almost the same kind of strategy just a few songs before (“The Age Of The Freak”) before realizing: Stardeath & the White Dwarfs have done the load-out on their journey out of the Milky Way with The Birth, but they’re light years away from their own masterpiece.