The Wasted EP is five tracks of masturbatory '90s alt-rock. Fuzzy guitars, pop arrangements (verse chorus verse and gasp! instrumental solo at the end??? how experimental!!), lovelorn lyrics torn out of a middle schooler's diary ("will you meet me at the eventide, I will wait for you" from "Eventide")-- it's all here, folks. The dexterity and complexity of the copy+pasted grunge music of The Wasted EP will leave you wondering just how many weeks ago these musicians picked up their instruments for the first time (strangely, this is not their first release). Believe me when I say there are teenaged bar bands that produce music with more depth and ingenuity.
It's not just that Dead Stars took a trip in their mom's van to Guitar Center and picked up the booklet "How to Play '90s alt-rock," it's that they skipped over the great acts like Nirvana, Sebadoh, and Sonic Youth, and went straight for "B-side on the Empire Records soundtrack" sound. On the ingeniously titled "The Same", when vocalist Jeff Moore sings "you're the same" over and over (and over and over), it's obvious he doesn't understand the irony of accusing his listeners of never changing, when his band is an anachronism. The only people I can see this album appealing to are those who fell into a coma when they heard Cobain died, and just recently awoke. Nope -- no, I lied, this would be a horrible introduction to the future.
The whole disaffected, torn jeans, working minimum wage jobs because you don't want to be part of the "rat race, man" thing appeals to an entire generation that died with the introduction of Smash Mouth and then the iPod. Dead Stars are playing to an empty audience -- and they're not playing that well. Moore opens the album with the lines "so it goes /every once in a while / i will cry / in my sleep" -- I think we all know why he's crying. But you, dear reader, should not cry. Avoid Dead Stars, and if at all possible, avoid all of Brooklyn until the nuclear radiation of The Wasted EP subsides.
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