Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Falling Stars “Stranded in the Future”

In Cleveland, there are many artists and bands that have been making names for themselves for years. One band that just recently came into being has a history in the Greater Cleveland area that reaches back years before it came into being. The band in question is Falling Stars.

For more than 25 years, the music of Chris Allen has been filling the ears of Clevelanders, whether it’s when he is performing on his own or in the various musical acts like the band he is most known for- Rosavelt; a band that has spent plenty of time entertaining fans in the Greater Cleveland area with music from their several albums of music. At other times, Allen can be found on stage with acts that feature mainly cover versions of popular songs. With a few of his musician friends, Allen performs several times a week within the city of Cleveland and has done so for years.

Just like with Chris Allen, Tim Parnin has been a big part of the Cleveland music scene. And just like Allen, Parnin has a long history in the music scene. In fact, Clevelanders may remember Parnin from back in the early 2000s when he was part of the Alternative Rock band called Uptown Sinclair, a group that he performed in with comedian Dave Hill. The self-titled album from Uptown Sinclair was one of the more memorable local albums from the last 20 years. And just like with Chris Allen and the band Rosavelt, Uptown Sinclair was only a small part of Tim Parnin’s musical history, as he also can claim to be a part of the band Sweet Apple, a band that features other famous musicians that have their own histories like J Mascis from the band Dinosaur Jr.

Together, Chris Allen and Tim Parnin’s musical histories combine for more than 40 years of experience. That experience was put to good use when the two musicians decided to create a new band together. The resulting musical outfit featuring Chris Allen and Tim Parnin is called Falling Stars.

When forming the band Falling Stars, Chris Allen and Tim Parnin called upon Dave Padrutt and Gary Porter to provide the bass and drums for the band. Together with Producer Don Dixon, the band’s music was created. The result is an album entitled Stranded in the Future.

With both Tim Parnin and Chris Allen creating music for the recent version of the band Rosavelt, you would imagine that the music for Falling Stars would have somewhat the same type of vibe. However, that is only somewhat true. The resulting musical combination contains a just little of the Alt-Country feel of Rosavelt but contains a much stronger Rock and Roll influence.

Falling Stars’ new release of Stranded in the Future begins with the track “Down and Out in Ohio”. The track features a Rock and Roll feel that feels rather timeless. The guitars on the track help to create that timeless feel as both Allen and Parnin create a style that would feel right at home in the eighties or the nineties. While the subject matter isn’t the most positive, the track features very strong Rock and Roll.

While only Tim Parnin was part of the band Uptown Sinclair, that group’s sound somehow made its way into the music of Parnin’s new group of Falling Stars. In fact, the song “Another Wrong Way Out” has an Alternative Rock feel that seems to bring to mind the style of Parnin’s old band. “Another Wrong Way Out” would have fit right alongside tunes like “Girlfriend” and “First Thing in the Morning” from Uptown Sinclair’s self-titled album.

With the next track, Chris Allen and Tim Parnin show off their talents as guitarists with a song that contains one of the simplest musical approaches. The track “Morning Divide” features only Allen, Parnin and their two guitars creating the music to the track while Allen’s distinct voice provides the vocals to the song. The easy pace to the song and the gentle strumming from both guitarists create a song that ends up being rather catchy despite the relatively simple musical approach. The track ends up being one of the best moments of the first half of the release.

The track “The Lonely Keep in Touch” is one song on the album Stranded in the Future that makes good use of the talents of Chris Allen. The music and the lyrics are so infused with Allen’s style that you would swear you were actually listening to a solo track. In fact, the song features his style so strongly that it actually it would feel right at home on one of Allen’s solo albums.

On the song “Vacancy Signs,” Falling Stars creates a track that seems to bring out a little influence from sixties. The track’s straight-out Rock and Roll approach and slightly psychedelic sound and feel to the music gives the song a definite different feel than the rest of the release. And even with that slightly unique musical approach to the track, “Vacancy Signs” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the release.

Speaking of “a definite different feel” to the music, the song “Losing Without You” is one track on the new album from Falling Stars that comes to life with plenty of help from album producer Don Dixon. The track includes percussion and a production quality that sets the track apart from every single other track on the release. “Losing Without You” is easily one of the strongest moments on the Stranded in the Future album and is a track that begs for multiple listenings.

Throughout the tracks that make up the album Stranded in the Future from Falling Stars, Chris Allen and Tim Parnin create songs that feature different Rock and Roll styles. Together, those various styles of Rock and Roll combine to create one release that feels ultimately timeless. The resulting release of Stranded in the Future is one album that any love of Rock and Roll should search out and add to their music collection.

To check out the music of Falling Stars, click HERE for the song “Another Wrong Way Out”. 

To purchase a copy of the album Stranded in the Future from Falling Stars, click on the album cover below: