The Lord of the House of Pomona, he say:
"Proper songs. Well-constructed, clever (but not smug) and emotionally charged.
A few folks will mumble that the sound is 'a bit 1980s' but The Strokes is a bit 1979, so we're
one step ahead in the bullshit clock that ticks somewhere in the head of the taste-makers (yep,
they really call them that - yuk). Martin Connor, the main Killing Star, is a pop God."
It's a family affair. It worked for the Glass Family, stalwarts of many a JD Salinger
tale. Until, that is, they went slowly mad and their megalomania proved congenitally resistant
to medication and therapy.
Killing Stars are Martin Connor, his sister Mary (bass) and blood-brothers-to-the-world
Higgs (guitar) and Miles Moss on drums. Except they're not any more: Martin is a solo performer,
in a group.
Killing Stars, about four years ago, used to be The Love Gods, and like a screwed-up,
unwashed version of The Partridge Family, they toured the UK with their take on dark pop. Their
two EPs were lauded to the celestial majesty by the music press, "The Love Gods leave me uneasy,
half way between sheer, unadulterated joy and that weird, mixed up sensation: did I leave the
cooker on? Will the house get burned down? To hell, I,m suckered in, puckered up, to all this
melodic beatitude. Bugger the house, tomorrow can wait" Melody Maker RIP).
On the verge of signing to A Big Major, The Love Gods went defunct on the world.
Their manager, Happy John, had seen enough of the beast that is the music industry and returned
to Ireland (where the band's family roots lie) to paint planes at Shannon Airport for a living.
Wise move. Martin wandered off into the wilderness and came back as a doctor of philosophy.
In fact, so clever is this man and so pulsating his brain, his dissertation (all 130,000 words)
is, as we speak, the subject of a bidding war between several publishing houses. Weird.
Anyway, onwards to the here and now. Martin is back in love with his guitar,
and has penned a new set of tunes at his base in Whalley Range, Manchester (where else?); home
of the poets and dreamers and wastrels of the world. He's reworked some Love Gods standards,
added occasional non-poncey cellos and piano; gone punk when it suited, and, basically, delivered
a stunning set of intelligent (ah, remember that?) songs covering the eternal themes drugs
dependency, bereavement, state oppression, and some. If Obituary doesn't,t bring a tear to your
eyes or Loving Arms make you dream of your first crush, please check your pulse.
So, celebrities beware, the counterculture is coming. Death to fame. Turn on,
tune in, write up. Killing Stars it is then. A timely antidote to our celebrity-drenched culture.
And, let,s face it, Killing Stars is a better name than the Martin Connor Band or the Non-Partridge