Somewhere between The Rembrandts and The Posies is Starcode, a pop rock band from New York City founded by Dave and Dan O’Connor. Dave writes the songs, plays the bass, and handles the vocals while Dan does all the percussion. Starcode fills a void that exists right now for accessible melodic rock that has excellent cross-over potential.
Dave’s vocals sound a bit like Mark Gable of the Choirboys or Robbie Williams, with a hint of Billy Corgan’s (Smashing Pumpkins) snarl every now and then. Every song on “A Fine Line” is likable, with the CD being particularly strong at the beginning. Their formula is to build from a solid base of acoustic guitars, adding layers of electric guitar and harmony on top. The lyrics are straight-forward and sincere without being silly or cliché, and the arrangements and production are sublime. I can’t seem to get the driving midtempo rocker, “I Found A Way”, out of my head. Other highlights include the pleasant “Close Your Eyes” and “Out There”.
The brothers O’Connor have nailed a formula that has proven to be mega-successful in years past, and it is about time someone has re-discovered it. Starcode is an Adult Contemporary musical dream, but they possess enough zest in the vocals and edge in the guitars to drive younger audiences to dig them too. “A Fine Line” is one of the most tuneful surprises of 2009 and should convince any listener that the O’Connor brothers are on their way to great things.
Be sure to check out my interview with Starcode’s Dave O’Connor on Rock and Roll Report here!
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10