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Ah, the virtues of two guitars, bass, drums and melody. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Daystar unabashedly play power pop – catchy hooks, guitar-based arrangements, vocal harmonies, touches of keyboards and strings. You know the drill. What makes Daystar stand out isn’t that they do anything particularly different with the form – it’s just that they’re so damn good at it. The band understands how to borrow sounds from their favorites – which from the sound of it would be the Beatles (and solo works), Badfinger and Big Star, plus modern descendants like Sloan and the New Pornographers – and put them together so they sound fresh. The rocking “Buttons & Brass” and “People Get Lonely,” country-flavored “The Ballad of Sister Sadie May” and “Warped Reality,” lovely “Angelina” and “Fade Away Love,” sprightly “Summer Girls” and psychedelic “Get Yourself Away” sound both carefully crafted and like the band is having a ball playing them, and will foster instant connections with fans of finely hued guitar pop. In the case of The Complete Recordings (cheeky title for a debut, that), familiarity definitely does not breed contempt.
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