CD review: Starfucker, B-Sides

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Starfucker is such a tease. The Portland ensemble’s eponymous debut was one of the stickiest electro pop albums to come out in 2008. While its 2009 follow-up, Jupiter, possessed the same adorable charm, it was far too short, clocking in at a mere 26 minutes that included a cover, a remix and only six “new” songs, which really weren’t new at all but favorites from the band’s live performances that never made it to the studio. This year, Starfucker bats their eyelashes yet again with B-Sides (Badman Recording).

The digi-EP includes tracks that were previously released via two short-run vinyl LPs and a limited edition 7" single, and were originally recorded from 2008 to 2009. B-Sides is even more meager than Jupiter, essentially an album of tasty scraps that opens with a dreamy, sample-noisy cover of Madonna’s “Burnin’ Up” and closes with back-to-back remixes of two Jupiter tracks (“Medicine” and “Boy Toy”), the two “new” numbers sandwiched in between. Granted, said numbers are first-rate Starfucker fare – both marked by whispery-sweet vocals, “Pistol Pete” armed with wordless coos, a slow static-clinging outro, and the band’s trademark samples of a lecturing Alan Watts, and “Ahhz” like aural cotton candy with its shimmer and fizz synthesizers. But no matter how good these B-Sides tracks may be, they feel like a tease, the sort that leaves you unfulfilled and wanting more and feeling blue about it.

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