Stars – Sad Robots EP

Aw man, for lunch today I was making this lunch concoction for girlfriend and myself of soy chorizo, green onions, and scotch bonnet peppers. The scotch bonnet pepper, if you don’t know, is a small Caribbean hot pepper (called just the “hot pepper” by many island sorts) that reaches upwards of half a million scovilles. Jalapenos, by comparison, average twenty thousand. Scotch bonnets are serious business and will punish you if you lack the proper respect.

I cut one up using a sharp knife and my bare hands. I was careful and washed my hands afterwards and went about my youthful frolics. Maybe ten minutes later my left eye itched and I rubbed it to get the itch out. A few seconds later my eyes started to burn fiercely. The ten minutes of my life was spent agonizing, running my screaming eye under a tap, begging my roommate for advice, my girlfriend doubting it could be this bad (it was), and intense self-pity of the sort I hadn’t felt since 5:30 earlier that morning when I inexplicably awoke from my slumber and couldn’t get back to sleep. It was a struggle. When your mouth burns you can eat yogurt or drink cream to feel better, but when it’s your fucking eye all you can do is try not to burst into pathetic, nearly impotent tears.

I showed that motherfucker by eating it and not doing it the favour of spreading its seed. I turned part of it into me. Ha! Sure, most of it became feces, but the rest became me. And what revenge could be greater than by killing one’s foe and absorbing its nutrients for your own use? As far as the peppers are concerned we are the matrix makers, feeding off of their energies forever. It’s an eternal burning hell, helped only by the significant succor that peppers can’t suffer. Luckily, because humans are compassionate creatures, we would never act in such a cavalier way towards a captive species that does suffer. That would be immoral and monstrous on such a grand scale that our own moral standing as a species would be hopelessly compromised and we’d deserve all the torture and rape and mass killing that ongoing history has bestowed on us!

The point, I think, is that this is a nice EP. And unexpectedly too. Not making an album means not having to make a statement every few seconds, which means the band’s talents can come out without all the pretension that can ruin things and make me throw up and put on old Dead Kennedys albums. There’s a couple nice pop songs, a synthy, affecting take on an old old song (“Going, Going, Gone”), only one pretentious long number, and two soft bookends that both sound like walking in a parking garage feeling at turns aghast and miserable.

See, these guys are talented at being sad and filling your ears with melancholia and nostalgia and black bile and all that. Anything else they can only pull off on a good day. But here they keep it restrained and, well, sad and nostalgic. I dig.

Say, how the heckfire is anybody ever comfortable with living only one life? I met, briefly, someone going to a school in New York next year, and it set in motion the usual mental dissatisfaction I have whenever I hear of anyone going anywhere remotely interesting. I want to know. I want to tour every campus, spend a year in every high school, be at every Saturday night party, for everyone and for ever. And that’s just North America! I want to grow up in London once and grow up again in Birmingham, Alabama. I want to see my own funeral once for every time I could ever die. And I can’t do it! Not fair not fair not fair! Stars are a good band to listen to when I have this problem. As always, your mileage may vary.

8/10

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