STARWOOD – If It Ain’t Broke, Break It

STARWOOD - If It Ain't Broke, Break It


Metal Blade
Release date: July 27, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Upon first hearing Starwood, the reincarnation of Lizzy Borden, don’t assume they are trying to fit in with the current happening bands like SUM 41, Blink 182, and other bands of that nature. Bound to be a little taken aback, this definitely isn’t anything like the band that released “Give Em’ The Axe” and “American Metal,” the band that constantly waved their flag of anti-establishment in the face of authority. Did they sell out?

But like any good listener and fan, one has to hunker down and get passed the initial expectations and delve into the heart of the matter. And what it all comes down to is “what comes around goes around.” If It Ain’t Broke, Then Break It is an album that embraces the roots of where Lizzy Borden came from; the influences of Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, KISS, and other glam rockers from the late seventies are all over this disk. Even back in the Metal years, Lizzy liked to show his penchant for Classic Rock — listen to the EP Terror Rising that has three cover tunes on it, Rainbow’s “Long Live Rock N Roll,” Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” and a very surprising Tubes cover of “Don’t Touch Me There,” which also featured Betsy, then lead vocalist of Bitch. On “Won’t Back Down,” the second track on If It Ain’t Broke, Then Break It, you can hear the same kind of vibe that was present on the Don’t Touch Me There recording, not to mention a slight homage to KISS’s “Shout It Out Loud.”

Here is a real opportunity to hear a new sound that embraces a generation of music long since gone; music that rocks, but doesn’t rely on being just “heavy.” Tempo, brashness, and most of all, attitude shape the songs. The songs are well written and have strong sing-able choruses that you will probably be singing all day after only a couple listens … and the newest, only non-Lizzy Borden band member, guitarist Joe Steals, stands out with some great soloing. Steals makes a perfect fit, playing solos that really make a statement within the context of the song, as opposed to just seeing how many notes and cool tricks he can squeeze into his allotted segment. His rhythm playing is very loose and dirty, just as one would expect in this environment.

The only down side to the disk that stands out at all in this CD, is the lyrical content. While sticking to a decadent Rock N Roll theme, everything comes across a bit thick with clichés. “Subculture,” “Won’t Back Down,” and “Social Zero” don’t even need expounding on; they sound like titles straight out of How to Write a Rock Song 101. Even with that minor distraction, however, you will still sing along with those hook-laden choruses.

For a first time out in their new digs, they perform great — a lot of fun and lot of promise. Maybe next time around, they will pull on a producer who understands the beautiful art of analog recording and get a little of that magic “hum” all of those older albums (yes, we’re talking vinyl here) had. Anybody got Lenny Kravitz’s phone number? What a pairing that would be …


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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