They Were Stars
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They Were Stars

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"Album Review - Own Your Atoms"

As promised, we take a closer look at pop-rock rookies They Were Stars, just in time for the release of their debut album, Own Your Atoms.

The general consensus around the BlindingLoud.com offices is that most music with a radio-friendly sound is shallow and worthless. They Were Stars just dropped a CD on us that challenges this notion.

Make no mistake: Own Your Atoms is full of hook-laden, unabashed, anthemic pop. The standout single “Every Now and Then” has a catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head for days. It’s a polished, top-40 ready, MTV-friendly track and this time, that’s not a bad thing.

“Impossible” is one of the most upbeat tracks, filled with “woah-oh’s” that sound like an early Jimmy Eat World. At other times, frontman Collin Cable sounds a bit like a younger Tom Delonge from Blink 182, but there’s a sincerity to what he’s singing that’s not just self-aware immaturity. It’s easy to make comparisons, but They Were Stars definitely have their own sound. As soon as you want to pigeonhole them, the album switches gears.

It’s easy to be surprised by Own Your Atoms on repeated listens. “Erased” is bleak, but it offers a sliver of hope in the lyrics; the problem is, it might be tough to recognize all this depth beneath the pop melody. ”Baltimore” is rooted in a jangly groove that hints at Post-Punk influences. The wandering vocal melodies are refreshing, and that bit of experimentation makes it a curious standout track on the record. “Obvious” begins with a nostalgic bit of percussively melodic muted guitar straight out of the 80’s from bands like The Police. They Were Stars are at their absolute best when they’re fusing these diverse influences with modern pop.

Own Your Atoms is a strong debut from an up-and-coming band with a growing fanbase. If pop-rock is your thing, these guys should find themselves on your ipod quickly. - BlindingLoud.com


"From Substream Music Press, July 2009"

From Substream Music Press: July 2009

"For one night they were stars."
This is the newspaper headline that the up-and-coming band They Were Stars took their name from. As five friends from Dallas, Texas, They Were Stars has a distinct and explosive sound to lend to the rock-pop scene. They are handing it out, of course, with what they call "good intentions."

"With all the music out there now, I think listeners have become a little overwhelmed, a little oversaturated," lead singer Collin Cable said. "We are just trying to share our music, but with good intentions."

In this sharing process, They Were Stars recently released their first full-length album, Own Your Atoms. "We initially wanted to make a pop record based on our favorites, but harnessed it in and made it relevant now," bassist Graham Smith told Substream. "We wanted to culturally modernize it." And they have done just that. Own Your Atoms, which originally started as an EP but evolved into a full-length album because they did it over such an extended period of time, is a refreshing new taste of pop that is sure to delight your taste buds and excite your musical palate.

They Were Stars is redefining what is considered power-pop with their own "pretty intense" version. "We went after the very music we enjoy," Cable said. And with the recent addition of guitarist/singer Mitch Lazorko, look for They Were Stars to continue to impress you with a digital release of their new, unannounced project. "We are just working on booking shows right now and trying to get out to California," Smith said. "But we are going to try to release a digital CD soon."

With good intentions and great music, I'm sure you will become an instant fan of They Were Stars, and they promise to treat you right.

By Chris Wessner

- Substream Music Press


Discography

Album- Own Your Atoms (2009)

Photos

Bio

They Were Stars is an indie pop-rock band from Dallas, Texas. Their sound draws from a range of influences including Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, My Bloody Valentine, Ok Go, Pixies, and Tripping Daisy, taking pop music to the next level. The band prides itself on its experienced musicianship and the ability to play as well live as they do in the their recordings.

They Were Stars formed in late 2006 in Dallas, Texas, only to record a few demo tracks then take a year-long hiatus. Collin Cable (vocals) and Graham Smith (bass) reunited in early 2008 to continue the project and recruited guitarist Taylor Tatsch and drummer Cooper Heffley. They quickly began working on a six-song EP but found it hard to stop there. The band soon had enough material to extend the EP into a full-length album, Own Your Atoms, which they released in April of 2009. The band wrote, produced, engineered, and mixed the entire album themselves. Around the time of the release, they brought in guitarist Mitch Lazorko to complete the group.

They Were Stars has recently opened for bands such as Motion City Soundtrack, Vedera, Forever The Sickest Kids, and Pictures and Sound. As of September 2009, they are writing new music and playing shows around north Texas.