Album Review: Stars and Flights – Ruin EP

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Despite the name sounding like a mid-00s Victory Records signing (seriously lads, did you use the Emo Name Generator?), Stars And Flights do not seem concerned with their haircut or the tightness of their jeans. Following up on last year’s full-length ‘Dropping Anchors’ (produced by no less than Romesh Dodangoda – if you’ve heard a record by a Welsh band, he’s most probably been behind the desk), this South Wales trio pair the anthemic approach and dynamic of Biffy Clyro to the prog-rock of Coheed and Cambria on this three-track EP ‘Ruin.’

This showcases a new step in songwriting for the three-piece, and one that is sure to garner much support in the live arena. However, on record, it’s a fairly mixed bag. The eponymous track of the EP opens proceedings and features some impressively dextrous guitar-playing from vocalist/guitarist James Davies, but his vocal delivery leaves a fair amount to be desired, never really stepping out of second gear.

‘The Lights Went Out’ sees the band in a more introspective frame of mind, imparting Davies’ innermost thoughts on death and rebirth, but its downtempo grooves fall short of delivering the desired emotional hook – ironically, given the lyrical themes, it sounds a little lifeless. ‘Inhale/Exile’ is where this record finally delivers, its relentless pace and fiery atmosphere showing what S&F are really made of, but unfrotunately, it’s a case of “too little, too late.”

This is a promising offering from a very young group, who have the potential to go on to bigger and better things – acts like Press To Meco and Bad Sign play a similar style, and you can see in them the potential crux of bands following in the footsteps of Arcane Roots, who are currently making huge advances in their still embryonic career. ‘Ruin’ is a taster of their transition as a band – not everything here works, but they’re making moves in the right direction. If Stars and Flights unearth something that propels them beyond their peers, their next record could be something quite special, but for now, file under “could do better.”

3/5

‘Ruin’ EP by Stars and Flights is released 17th June on Ghoulish Records.

Stars and Flights links: Official Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Ollie Connors (@olliexcore)

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