If you enjoy(ed) Aversionline, please check out No Echo, a new music site I co-run. Updated daily.

Starkweather "Croatoan" CD

Posted on Friday, May 5th, 2006 @ 5:50am » permalink

Starkweather - CroatoanSimple fact: Starkweather is one of the greatest (and yet most criminally wronged, overlooked, and possibly cursed) bands to have ever existed, and there is absolutely no shred of doubt that "Croatoan" will be among the best records of 2006. The end. No fucking argument. Since this is another band that holds a steady position in my top five of all time, I paid an almost inconceivably bloated $16.72 for this CD three days ago at Tower Records the day it was released, because there was simply no fucking way that I was going to wait even one more day to finally hold in my hands a finished copy of this album on CD. As if it weren't bad enough that it's been over a god damn decade since the band's last full-length release (I personally consider "Into the Wire" – which happens to be one of my favorite releases of all time – to be a full-length despite it containing only six tracks), the fucking recording for this album has been finished for over a year, and I've been forcing myself not to listen to my CD-R of rough mixes for months on end because I really wanted the material to still feel new to me when it finally received an official US release (via Candlelight Records).

Much like my exposition on Katatonia last week, this is not what I would consider to be a "review" (not that I consider anything that I write on this site to be "reviews" anymore), because every motherfucker that's reading this right now just needs to listen for themselves and let the material speak for itself. You can't properly describe Starkweather with words. You just can't. Are they a metal band? Sure, but there's so much more to it than that since it's far from "conventional" in any way. And have they perhaps come from more of a hardcore background on some level? Yes, you'd more than likely say that, but they've never sounded even remotely like a hardcore band at all from a musical standpoint.

And I'm telling you right now, this band is not for everyone, and in fact when I first heard them some 11+ years ago I couldn't really handle the vocals at all. But somewhere along the line in the year that followed my initial exposure, it all clicked: The impeccable lyrics (simply unparalleled by any other band), the warped musical aesthetics, the inhuman vocal maneuvering (Also simply unparalleled – in addition to being one of the finest lyricists I've ever come across, Rennie Resmini boasts the single most unique and inimitable vocal approach ever – love it or hate it. And while we're on such topics, Harry Rosa is one of the most impressive drummers I've ever heard in terms of completely maniacal feel and his total disregard for repetition.), etc. Starkweather is among an impossibly infinitesimal number of bands who embody the aural equivalent of sheer and total hatred, disgust, disappointment, and arguably murder itself. I have seriously had moments where listening to this band connects so strongly that I just want to smash my face open with a hammer (figuratively speaking).

Starkweather "Wilding"

All love withers away never dies just left to linger in the plague years eidolons fret in the unconscious eye as the apocalypse draws nigh everything is rolling stroboscopic slow-motion I thought of you months on end tore my knuckles on the walls painted scarlet pictures hallucinating I wandered the streets treading ever so softly lest the moorings fall bask in silence enjoy its beauty for the moment's fleeting…

Man, "Wilding" is seriously fucking amazing. One of the band's finest moments to date and without a doubt my favorite track of the disc. And for those curious, "Croatoan" contains three re-recorded tracks from the days of old (all of which have been noticeably modified from their initial incarnations): "Bitterfrost" (originally on the split 7" with Season to Risk), "Hushabye: Goodnight" (originally on the "Definitely Not the Majors" compilation and one of the band's most obliteratingly vicious songs), and a much expanded (and practically new in the process) edition of "Slither" from "Into the Wire".

The more copies of "Croatoan" Starkweather sells on CD the better their chances of getting a bigger budget for their next album, so fans both new and old should please make sure to buy this record rather than downloading it. The artwork (by far Paul Romano's best, plain and simple) and lyrics are essential and incredible, and quite frankly you're a jackass if you overlook such aspects of Starkweather's existence. Make the damn purchase, and if you're a new fan, do yourself a favor and buy everything else they've ever released as well – you can find it all dirt cheap because people are fucking morons:

@ Very Distribution

Collectors and/or vinyl junkies in general should be aware that you can also purchase a beautiful 2xLP version of "Croatoan" from the significantly more "with it" Hypertension Records in Belgium, who were wise enough to take care of business in 2005. I'm not sure what colors of vinyl are left but mine came a few weeks ago on red, and the full-color gatefold sleeve (with matte finish) looks awesome.

I totally fucking adore this band. One of a kind, people. One of a kind…

32 Comments...

  1. Anonymous says:

    awesome.

  2. xMIKExFORxLIFEx says:

    i cannot agree more with all you have typed andrew.i myself have loved starkweather aslong as you have dude,and are by far my fave band ever.croatoan is truly amazing.i've waited so long to get the full mastered release and man,it delivers tenfold.i hope everyone supports the 'weather crew,i cannot wait to hear all the new material rennie,todd,harry and vince have lined up.hail to philly for breeding such an amazing act.props to rennie and todd.xmikex.

  3. pa.chris says:

    Truly amazing. I have listened to some of the cd-r unmixed stuff and it just cannot do justice to the perfection acheived on this album. And, for me, to top it all off we get the best version of my favorite song in Bitterfrost. No one should sleep on this one. Buy it now!

  4. Adrianoso says:

    Holy FUCKIN SHIT!!! As soon as I buy this album I'm gonna fuckin bump it all through out the streets of San Diego!

  5. John Torn says:

    Best CD of 2006, if not of the entire decade (hopefully they'll top themselves again without waiting another 11 years, though..). Hey, if anyone reading this is in the Albany, NY area, Music Shack has it on sale this week for $11.99. Best twelve dollars you'll ever spend on a CD. I agree with what PA Chris said about Bitter Frost.. but now we finally have an entire CD of songs that match that calibur. And finally a decent recording of this band. Best CD ever yet by one of the best bands ever.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Wow, the finished product blows away those unmixed versions that were floating around for awhile. I have to find this CD pronto. Amazing.

  7. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Yeah, many of those "unmixed" tracks that are floating around are more than "unmixed": They don't even have all of the layers in place or anything, they're flat out missing parts.

    And just in case anyone suspects it, NO, I did NOT spread any of the advance tracks around ANYWHERE.

  8. Agreed on all counts

  9. Anonymous says:

    love this band/album.

  10. chris says:

    lets face it no starkweather, no converge. no converge, no one million other bands worth metioning. lesson done.

  11. Anonymous says:

    One of the best bands ever. I look forward to seeing them again at the Emperor show In NYC

  12. xMIKExFORxLIFEx says:

    just for the record also,i swear on my life and my families lives that i never let anyone else hear the advance tracks i have courtesy of rennie and todd.this will forever be the case.glad to see so many people are still into this band and totally into actually buying croatoan rather than downloading it.appreciated by all! xmikex.

  13. Carter says:

    Agreed. Starkweather is criminally underrated! How are more people not jocking this band?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Andrew or anyone else know where I can pay to download this album? My local stores don't have it and I don't want to wait for mailorder… Please help!

  15. Anonymous says:

    just download it if you really cant wait and get the cd. paying for mp3s is bullshit. :)

  16. reno says:

    i barely knew knew this band existed..thanks andrew for introducing me to this band …fuck!! this record kills.. you should post more of this kinda material..no doubt its one of the best band i've ever heard in my life!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Please anyone know where I can pay to download this album? I cannot get it locally dont want to wait and do not want to rip off the band…

  18. Mikel says:

    I've seen them live. Three times. On both sides of the pond. Music does not get much better than this. The best part was when i saw them play infront of 15 people (this was their european tour) and they absolutely destroyed.

  19. Mikel says:

    Ps. Everyone who loves this band get on their knees for Hypertension, without them this record would have never seen the light of day.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Alright I have checked everywhere and cannot find the mp3's for this album for sale. I placed an order through Very on Saturday so I should be able to have the album in my hands by Friday or Saturday this week. In the meantime, can anyone tell me what p2p has this album up so I can at least listen to it while I wait for the actual disc to come in the mail? I checked lime and it isn't out there, any other suggestions? Again, I have already paid for the album and just want to listen while I wait for it come in the mail…

  21. Anonymous says:

    i love the ending, it has been on repeat on my computer for about an hour

  22. xMIKExFORxLIFEx says:

    i have starkweather playing @ star and garter in manchester U.K august 29th 2005.i captured this gig with my DV cam so it has awesome surround sound & DVD resolution.by far THE most intense live band ever.can't wait for my friends to tour europe again.be great to hang out with rennie,todd,vince and harry once more.xmikex.

  23. johntorn says:

    xmikexforxlifex, post that video somewhere, please! In the past eleven years, I've only had the priviledge of seeing them five times.. a decent quality live video would be a great thing to have.
    And for the record.. it also wasn't me who spread around the rough mix. I even hid it from my roommate!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Im like crazy waiting to get this CD. It really needs some time to get into it, but when you are in…there is no way out. On few moments vocaly remind me on Kirk Vindstein from Crowbar. Every part remaind me on something, but something very good and still new.
    If postman broke this CD when he will carrying to me, I will smash his head.

  25. scott says:

    I never know what to say about Starkweather. How can you describe this band to someone who has never heard them? It's impossible – merely describing the sound would never come close to describing the experience of Starkweather – and you'd never come close to describing with words what Rennie does with his vocal chords, never. I've never even attempted.

    This band literally pulls emotions out from your insides – and ain't shit sweet on that end, it's all pure primal agony and despair. Emotional contortionists. I will say in no uncertain terms that this is easily one of the best bands ever to exist, regardless of genre.

    But, damn the vinyl of this record sounds like shit… I don't know what happened but a friend ordered it then brought it over, and it almost broke my heart when I put it on the turntable. I was hoping like hell that it was a fuckup of some sort, so it's good to see that the CD fixes that issue and sounds like it should.

    Fucking hail Andrew…

  26. chris says:

    starkweather is probably the most intense band ever. i remember hearing "into the wire" when i was about 14 and thinking the vocalist must be a total nutjob as a person. and the feel of the music was just too much for me to take. funny how that can change, few years down the line. now i can relate to it just like that. you said it best, "disgust, disappointment," insanity… that's precisely what the music feels like. but you either get it and connect with it or you don't. i pity those who can't truly appreciate what starkweather has to offer and listen to 'em alongside a bullet for my valentine and similar horseshit.

  27. Anonymous says:

    those anybody have idea where can I get Crossbearer CD for "good price". I saw one copy on amazon.com, but is 99.9 $ ?!
    Thank you.

  28. Barry619 says:

    starkweather pwn all!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Dont listen MP3s. just buy CD. The sound is so much better that you cant even imagine. One of the best CD in year 2006…

    superb!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Good call on that Blood for blood and Irate albums
    That Irate album is classic Vendetta!

  31. Anonymous says:

    FUCKING AWESOME!!! YOU MUST BUY THIS OR DIE!!! SIMPLE AS THAT!

  32. Carlos says:

    can't wait for new music for Starkweather!!! I want some more :)

eXTReMe Tracker