THE FLAMING STARS
Named and Shamed
CD - $12.00
Unlike vintage culture vultures riding the retro wave, THE FLAMING STARS-with noted pulp fiction expert Max Décharné as leader-seem to write themselves into the seedy realm of pulp and noir from inside out.
Critics have made comparisons to stalwarts such as Ennio Morricone and Lee Hazelwood as well as contemporaries like Jesus and Mary Chain, Nick Cave, and The Tindersticks, proving that The Flaming Stars possess the key to a strange, timeless world untouched by trends or naïve nostalgia.
"Named and Shamed," the UK quintet's third release on Alternative Tentacles, cocoons itself in a lurid atmosphere of reverb'd guitars and dulcet baritone punctuated by slick drumwork and a bevy of handclaps. Themes of inebriation and small-time melodrama float over trashy garage rock with a hint of vaguely tropical rhythms or spaghetti western twang.
Note to overseas customers: Vinyl Japan, based in the United Kingdom, is releasing this cd to the rest of the world and they also have mailorder services.
Expect Named and Shamed to be on heavy rotation in Named and Shamed jukeboxes at smoky dive bars the world over! Brand New!
"One fears their career will be forever hindered by the ascension of The Flaming Lips, but the Stars may find, in compensation, that their long-standing association with the now notorious Toerag Studios lends them shadowy cool. Vastly underrated, they refract the spirit of Double Indemnity through originally twisted shades of Morricone, Hazlewood, Tindersticks and the Mary Chain. Max Décharné sings with authentic pulp pathos; alcohol, smoke and heartache steam up his wry, weary window on the world. "She's Gone" says it all in under three minutes. Criminally good."
"A decade after they first fell from the sky, the U.K. quintet the Flaming Stars continue to shine and stun on their seventh studio disc, Named and Shamed. Sounding like Lloyd Cole fronting the Bad Seeds, writer/vocalist Max Decharne steers the versatile group through a set that is at times loud and riotous ("Where the Beautiful People Go"), soft and brooding ("She's Gone"), or über-cool and jazzy (the piano and finger snaps of "The Marabou Shuffle"). Rarely disappointing, the title cut embraces flamenco while "Spilled Your Paint" barks and bites like vintage Mark E. Smith. Tack on the fact that this disc was completed in just over eight days, and Named and Shamed can't help but qualify as brilliant."
- John D. Luerssen on AllMusic.com