Been Stellar - 'Kamikazes'
On Sells Out its apparent that Been Stellar may have been studying from Turn On The Bright Lights oeuvre, but don't be concerned, this is far from a crude imitation. 'Kamikazes', the sixth track from their new album is far more garage-punk than that would suggest, indeed there's also a touch of Protomartyr, in its drawling, apocalyptic lyrics. And, really that's a pretty decent combination in anyone's book.
There's some real highlights on the uniquely catchy, 'Kamikazes', not least a deft vocal trade-off which allows a satisfying, explosive change of pace,
"Give me what I want and I’ll stop asking!
(You’re not hearing me, start listening please.)"
There's also an undercurrent of subversive raillery as Been Stellar frequently break the fourth wall with a juvenile affront,
"Let’s take turns jumping on each other's backs,
Even if you don’t like me, I’m singing you this track"
Through these quick snipes its apparent that although 'Kamikazes' primary target is mental instability, its perhaps at its most dexterous when this is brought into relation with the ordinary,
"This man and his forgotten plans,
I never thought I’d sing about your caps and useless cans"
Recorded in an "Attic from 2016-2017" its evident on tracks like 'Kamikazes' and 'Call of the Void' that the outfit have found real success with this lo-fi sound. Its volatile tracks such as these that create a somewhat welcome instability for the listener. Changes in tempo and pacing were crucial in the post-punk revival, as bands like Interpol built tension furtively to form moments of total exultation.
Been Stellar's off-kilter sound gains real traction in a similar vein as wiry, screeching guitars form the track's brilliant climax, as if caught fire themselves. 'Kamikazes' may see Been Stellar in a tailspin, but its a paradoxically promising sight to behold.