CD Review: Sweet Sorrow by Boston’s own Stars Above

Stars Above emerged from West Lynn, Massachusetts with a powerful sound, tight groove and smart, concise songs that stick in your head.  Take “Sweet, Sweet Sorrow.” The pounding quick rhythms alongside spitfire vocals “Stumble through today…no such thing as sweet, sweet sorrow” propel this frantic post-Nirvana slice of regret over a romantic break-up.  The music reflects the desperation with the trio in unison displaying relentless angst.   “Some February Day” has melodic guitar reflecting the throbbing basslines, the same tempo as “Sweet Sweet Sorrow” talking about a love affair from two years ago, and the fateful consequence.  “Used To Be” could be a militant British punk band from the late 1970s with more clarity in the mix, probably due to Lemonheads engineer/producer Tom Hamilton.  Very good stuff.

The second half of Sweet Sorrow by Stars Above (James Morrill – guitars, vocals, bassist Jones Harrington, drummer Andrew Greeley).
4. Some February Day
5. Sweet Sorrow
6. Used to Be

STARS ABOVE biography
Reverb Nation has a bio on the group that I will reprint here for history’s sake:

Stars Above is a band from the North Shore of Boston, originally a solo project (COAA) started by James Morrill. After the disintegration of his former band Pure Impact, James started recording songs on his own and with fellow Pure Impact guitarist/singer Ian Clark. These songs would be posted on James’ MySpace page. Eventually, James called upon bassist Jones Harrington and drummer Andrew Greeley to start playing the songs. They played one show under the COAA moniker and then, not wanting to consider it a solo project, changed their name to Stars Above. There first show as Stars Above was May 10, 2010 @ Charlies Kitchen w/ Johnny Earthquake Band, With A Bullet, and Lesser Evils. Around this time they recorded a self released 4 song demo at Ian’s home studio. After the Charlies Kitchen show, Jones left the band and was temporarily replaced by Ian. Ian filled in for a few shows but couldn’t commit to the band because of his duties with his other bands. James then found Steve Heddon through Craigslist to fill in on bass. Coincidentally Steve was from the same area and knew much of the same people that James and Andrew knew. Stars Above continued to play the Boston/Cambridge circuit, playing shows at clubs like the MIddle East, T.T. the Bears, the Midway, O’Briens, All Asia, Tavern At the End of the World and others. They also performed a live set and were interviewed on Unregularradio’s “The Boston Local Music Show” Sometime after this Steve disappeared and Jones rejoined the band on bass.

Since then, Stars Above have continued to play shows at places like The Rosebud, My House Lounge, Dodge Street, McGanns Pub, etc. They recently began recording an E.P. with local producer Tom Hamilton (producer of Jerry’s Kids and The Lemonheads first three records) and are still in the process of finishing it up. They also just did a live set on Unregularradio’s local marijuana reform show “the Boston Pot Report”.

Currently, Stars Above are finishing up there first studio E.P. w/ local producer of Jerrys Kids and the Lemonheads, Tom Hamilton. They continue to play show’s are trying to solidify their line-up.

(the above from the ReverbNation site for Stars Above)

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Back in 1974 drummer John Morrill played in a band with myself, guitarist Fred Pineau and bassist John Hovorka at a club called Third Rail, downstairs at the Cantab in Central Square.   Forty years later his late son James Morrill has in release an amazing statement with the Stars Above release.

Check out the James Morrill Memorial Page on Facebook

The group’s MySpace page is here – it includes another 9 songs.

Music Box Pete has a mini review

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.