Steaming Satellites - Slipstream (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
I CAN’T vouch for debut album The Mustache Mozart Affaire but Streaming Satellites’ sophomore effort Slipstream is pretty darn cool.
Steeped in classic songwriting values that stretch from Zeppelin to Pink Floyd via more contemporary acts like Cold War Kids and Kings of Leon, this is further enhanced by a vocalist with real presence (step forward Max Borchardt).
The band’s foundation lies in rock but they’ve also added a more soulful element to certain moments on the LP as well as electronic pop. It means the listen is diverse too.
Early on, for instance, there’s Another Love, which opens in stripped back, gruff-voiced fashion with a solitary synth and a husky vocal, before a robust beat and some gritty guitars kick in to lend the track an earthy rock sound that’s pretty kick-ass.
The soul element is then apparent on Notice, which drops a smooth Hammond organ and some flutes before re-introducing a fuzzy/funky guitar riff and a really smooth chorus.
There’s traces of blues in the brooding Another Try, which really finds Borchardt in husky form (think The Heavy in places) as well as tormented lyrically, while darkness permeates the similarly brooding and just as striking So I Fell Down, which drops a gloriously moody chorus in the form of “you are a vampire, you keep sucking me dry”. It’s a real Kings of Leon moment vocally.
Eleswhere, Timezone has a more straight-forward rock vibe and once again finds Borchardt in Caleb territory, complete with guitar riffs that evoke both Kings of Leon and Cold War Kids, while there’s a nice edge to the electronic-rocker that is No Sleep For The Damned, another wonderful combination of foot-stomping power and dark energy.
Shadows Collide, meanwhile, combines insistent beats with subtle electronic flourishes (some futuristic), while Borchardt returns to a more soul-pop groove, and final track Gone has a terrific sense of longing, coupled with acoustic guitar licks that lend it a bittersweet vibe. It’s a terrific ending to an album that consistently delights.
Download picks: Notice, Another Try, So I Fell Down, No Sleep For The Damned, Gone