There is a certain kind of neo-psychedelia that was popular in the Eighties. Pioneers of the style included Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, and Opal. It's a style that hard's to replicate. Still, the new one from Major Stars, Motion Set, out Friday on Drag City, comes darn close to presenting a similar sort of music. Major Stars -- Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar on guitars, Tom Leonard on bass, and other assorted players, notably vocalist Hayley Thompson-King -- conjure up worthy comparisons to those Eighties acts here and one would be advised to get this one as soon as possible.
If "For Today" and "Change Your Memory" roar like Blue Cheer, then "Fade Out" channels Sonic Youth, and the title cut nods in the direction of "All Tomorrow's Parties" by Velvet Underground. If Major Stars are at all producing music influenced by the Paisley Underground bands from the Eighties, they are at least going back to other acts that both inspired and took inspiration from those bands. At their best, Major Stars present the sort of music that at least reminds one of the glory days of alternative rock from an earlier era. That's not to say that this is not original music but, rather, that it's music worthy of comparison to that of those acts I mentioned earlier.
[Photo: Naomi Yang]