It was a little surprising to hear that Portland, Ore., Starf***er, helmed by synth-pop master Josh Hodges, has a new release out. The band's self-titled debut dropped in September of last year, and considering the pages of acclaim it garnered--both the print and the virtual, scrolling kind--not to mention the use of "Holly" (in my opinion, the best track on the CD) in an IBM commercial, they could have milked its successes for a long time to come. But their busy music must be a reflection of the band's real-life behavior because, lo and behold, the month of May brought the eight-song-long EP Jupiter (Badman Records).
Jupiter includes a dirtier, thicker Strategy remix of "Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second," and philosopher Alan Watts' voice is present again, his bits of lecture a static-filled layer of intellectual noise in "Medicine." The EP also includes a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," a song that Starf***er often plays live. Frankly, the cover stays too true to the original. Maybe it's meant to be ironic--Miley Cyrus covered "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," too--but Lauper's version was already a Casio-keyboard coated tune. It would have been nice to see Starf***er push the song in some unexpected direction or just leave it for live shows.
Jupiter could stand on its own two synthesized feet, but it serves well as a companion piece to the debut, its tracks like a group of cousins that just wouldn't fit into the Starf***er family party bus the first time it left the station.
Starf***er will make what is technically their fourth stop in Boise (they played an in-store at Record Exchange before their last Neurolux show) on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at Neurolux. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.