Comparisons to Radiohead, Tiara, Kopaz, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Spiritualized, The Emerald Down, Samarkand, early 70's Pink Floyd and a host of other polished shoegazer pop and space rock outfits in general were almost immediate for me. One big difference is Dayton, Ohio's Lab Partners' take has some how managed to weave in some very strong, dare I say Oasis-like, pop melodies (come on, who among us hasn't hummed an Oasis tune) into the mix making Daystar simultaneously accessible and other worldly.
Still there was something else that took me awhile to place as far as the vocals go. At first I thought it was most reminiscent of MBV with the male vocals up front. Then it hit me. It's Marc Bolin (T. Rex). Not exclusively or extensively, but in some of the tracks, it's there. The vocals are often very full and a few songs dip into that lower baritone territory without sounding like the second coming of some thankless third generation Eddie Vedder clone.
The recording as a whole really works for me. Lab Partners is obviously a band into creating an atmosphere and taking advantage of the studio in the process. The results are quite impressive to my ears. Sure, maybe it's derivative and some will complain about the dated Manchester beat/faux brit pop aspect. But when it comes down to it, Lab Partners have made a wonderful (go ahead, call me a pansy, I can take it) 70+ minute trip well worth the taking and one of my favorite releases from 2002.
- Joel Treadway