Vinyl Theatre 'Starcruiser' (Album Review)

Oscar Rendon | August 30th, 2018


Vinyl Theatre are coming back with their 3rd LP as unsigned independent artists. Vinyl Theatre have been touring non-stop and writing music on the road. 'Starcruiser' truly defines itself from their previous albums. With success from such hits as "Breaking Up My Bones", "My Fault" and "New Machines". The guys of Vinyl Theatre have been racking up miles and miles of road time while balancing life, writing, producing, and performing and now the band's upcoming third full-length album 'Starcruiser' will be out on August 31st 2018. 

The album kicks off with "Our Song" and we get introduced to a more groovy synth sound heavily emphasized with the keys but still keeping with their rock band origins with a rhythm guitar and hard pounding drums from Nick. "This is our song" feels and sounds like a message to the listener from Keegan's voice that they are in control of their destiny and their music. The work that Chris does on the keys has really made the band standout among the thousands of acts, artists, and bands that are influenced by synth and 80's pop-rock. "Our Song" is a great blend of new sound from Vinyl Theatre while still writing meaningful lyrics that are relatable and that people can sing at their shows. "Feel It All" is a rock/hip-hop mash up of instrumentation and a percussion beat keeping Keegan's voice in this repetition that comes off like rapping but also allowing the softer tone of his voice to shine in this song. "Knock Knock" continues the trend of great beats and synth work, Keegan's voice very lightly touches it's falsetto, teasing it a bit. In the chorus the guitar ramps up the beat and flow of the song highlighted by the very suspenseful keys. By the fourth song "We Make The Music" is well transitioned in with a quick intro and straight into a cool 80's horror feel while lyrically it touches on topics of validity and acceptance. In the bridge the acoustic guitar gives it a latin/salsa taste for a few seconds. "We Make The Music" is probably the best song to refer to the bands experimentation of growing and trying new ways to make music. "Don't Worry" catches you off guard with the low tone of Keegans voice, it's a pleasant surprise and it gradually gets higher to the voice we are used to hearing. The song almost demands to be listened to from the second you here the guitar and suddenly the song transforms into a very atmospheric groove. Lyrics like "I hope you don't cry when you hear this song, I want you alright but I'm moving on" is such a gut punch of lyricism. The slow and personal feel to the song makes this a track to remember. "Never Thought This Would Happen" is right there in the middle and we begin to figure out the tone of the album as a whole. The track is reminiscent of twenty one pilots but with Vinyl Theatre's spin on it. "Vandals" has a different sound than the rest of the songs so far on the album, it's a bit more cinematic in the way it's written and performed. Close your eyes and you can see and hear this song played at the end of your favorite indie 'coming of age' film. "Vandals" is one of those songs in every album that just feels special listening to and that you can't help but put yourself in the song and lyrics and feel like the song's lyrics are speaking to you specifically. It's a song that you cans sway and groove to on the dance floor. Just like "Dont Worry" the eighth song on the album, "Masterpiece" catches you off guard with full Keegan falsetto and while the song sounds simple it has many layers to it that make up the whole song. From the guitar, bass, and synth that adds to song's melodic vibe. "Paint me like your masterpiece" is one of the lyrics that tells the story of the song. He wants to be the perfect person for this person and he want's to be there in the present. "Hold Me Down" keeps the album alive and going as it is a nice break from the synth. You can hear drums, guitar and the keys give the song character. The song takes on so many meanings like "what is the next challenge or obstacle" and how they handle those challenges. "Done With These Days" is a great reminder of how great the piano and drums compliment each other. The bass really helps with the pace of the melody and with the placement of the verses. Lyrically the song gets personal and it's why the band are great writers, it adds a few lines about how the world is today and how we're "done with these days". "Dream of Me" the last song of the album is the real ballad as the song goes into an extended acoustic intro before we even hear Keegan's voice. The song also serves as a reminder of how Keegan has not used some of his louder tone and really lets his voice melt in your ears. The dream like sound of the song with the soft tone in his voice seem's like the perfect and logical way to end the album as well. 

Overall, the band's third full-length album is a huge departure from what the band is known for but it works. Not only do they prove they can play with multiple genres but that their versatility makes for a great instrument in constructing melodies, lyrics for verses and choruses and just how to put together a song you feel and not just hear. Each song on this album makes you listen closely and leaves you wanting to put on the album on repeat. Keegan is master with his at times very angelic voice, he truly shows another side to his already amazing voice. Chris as alway creates the atmosphere whether it be on keys, piano, or using synthesizers. Much of the sound and feel of the album comes from his in tune ear which he translates on this record. Nick adds the beating heart of the drums which brings to life these songs in ways that have you appreciating the art of what drummers bring to the table. 'Starcruiser' is Vinyl Theatre's greatest triumph, with emotional and fast paced tunes that give you all the feels. 

The Grade


What did you think of Starcruiser? Leave your comments below and keep up with the band's tour on social media by searching "Vinyl Theatre".