STARK can pull off crazy without seeming insanely out of touch with their smashing pulses of music. But before I do my babbling, let’s start with the run of the mill press/bio information about how STARK came to be and such things.
STARK was started by Lani Ford in 2003 after a while of playing bass and singing with all sorts of other bands and kicking around the Tobacco Road open mic with original members, Dylan Grewen and Greg Schiff. STARK started out as more of a lo-fi/singer-songwriter/indie rock combination of country, punk and blues. After the release of The Curse, Dylan left and Jonesy stepped in on guitar and added more of a Johnny Thunders/Ramones/Blondie sound to the fold. After Jonesy, Josette came on board for over a year and a half and brought with her a more AC/DC and Motley Crue glam/metal feel. With her, Rob Endemann, and guest vocalist Pam “The Metal Queen” Grande, Lani released a sophomore STARK CD in 2008 called Put It To Your Head. Joe Hogan engineered both records and both albums reflect what was going on with the band at the time.
Now, with Joe Hogan and Eric Robel taking over in the guitar and drums positions, respectively, prepare yourself for the sickest, hardest, tightest version of STARK yet. Keeping their punk and metal roots, now STARK offers up their original mixture of bluesy Southern rock and underground NYC rock while staying melodic and lyrically intriguing. The band has been together a short time and has already been touring and writing new material. They bring together all the past elements of STARK but more intensely with a sense of humor and craziness, darkness and depth, and simply kick-ass rock and roll. The new STARK is eager to be in the studio, on the road and in a bar near you.
And so now, Lani has made her presence known everywhere she goes whether in the physical or the digital realm. I have heard her stage appeal is outstanding, but for me my knowledge of her is purely through her sites and social networks. To say I am utterly impressed from only knowing the digital entity of STARK should be a compliment all on its own.
What you’ll hear?
Lani Ford has a strong voice. This is something you’ll probably hear in all reviews about STARK. But I think it’s key to also know the band offers a wide variety of rhythms. Perhaps their album doesn’t flow perfectly, but hitting shuffle never hurt anybody either. There are some smooth tracks, some crunchy tracks and some more classic sounding songs which maybe means STARK is still finding their niche, or perhaps it means they want to show their multifaceted musical sweetness. This band is on fire, practically radiating with edgy gorgeous tunes…if one could radiate such things. ;)
STARK – “What It Is” (mp3)
STARK will release a third album of nine songs, Race To The Floor, March 9, 2010. The New York City CD Release Party will be held March 13th at 10pm at Arlene’s Grocery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the first 50 people in the door will receive a free STARK tote bag filled with a copy of the album and other goodies, like autographed posters.
But if, like myself, you are unable to get out to their release party than you have another chance to grab some STARK swag. Lani sent an album for me to share, but she also included a cool print, sticker and concert pin. And so this begins another Scrink Giveaway. Leave a comment on this post and a winner will be chosen using a random number generator at 12 p.m. EST on March 17, 2010.