Sound — 9
The Bravery meet Pink Floyd is the kind of effect Stars Of Track And Field's music has on audiences. Their atmospheric showers rise up to colossal manifestations comparable to Pink Floyd while the synth-pop properties of twin guitarists Jason Bell and Kevin Calaba resonate with arpeggio-wrapped flurries reminiscent of The Bravery. Stars Of Track And Field's latest CD, A Time For Lions fires up the melodic chambers with rock guitar gusto and shimmering tresses surrounded in shoegazy ethers. The chord dynamics of Racing Lights demonstrate Calaba and Bell's ability to bond their volleys of electro-fused explosions as the tapping backbeats of drummer Daniel Orvik produce an anthematic feel through End Of All Times. Without a bass player, the band makes up for it in their concertos of electro-pop reels which sometimes merge with piano-driven sequences to produce lush soundscapes like in End Of All Times. The soft synth-textured vines of Now You Lift Your Eyes To The Sun have a luminous glaze while the buzzsawing vibrations tearing through In Bright Fire ring out with bonfire combustion. The rock ballads Safety In Numbers and Peeling Away have folksy overtones contrasting the electro-clad cascades strewn across Through The Static and The Stranger which recede and flow to create loops of peaks and cave-ins. The ballad Sunrise Ends is blanketed in shimmery synth particles that produce gentle, billowy effects along the chord progressions allowing for roomy atmospherics to rest on top of soft rustling beats. Stars Of Track And Field diversify melodic rock's spectrum and show that guitars have a multi-textured quality which is attractive.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics range from expressing personal feelings like in End Of All Time with verses like Turn off the lights and watch you glow/ To the end of time / Just so I could see the light recline over you, to being metaphorical like The monsters live in your trash from The Breaking Of Waves and It knocks the wind out of my lungs Watching all the birds return to their cages made of glass from Peeling Away. Other lyrics chronicle the day's events like in Safety In Numbers when Calaba tolls, Early morning take a shower / Lift your head a quiet hour / The start of your day / On and on the city starts to welcome in and break the hearts / There's no safety in numbers. The words reveal underlying insecurities that is relatable to what other people feel or experience.
Overall Impression — 9
Produced by John King of the Dust Brothers along with Stars Of Track And Field, A Time For Lions starts off where the trio's debut album Centuries Before Love And War from Wind-Up Records left off. Calaba's vocals temper the songs to have meaning and vitality more so than the average shoegaze variety. The band's alloy of electro-fused rock is satisfying and comparable to Pilot Speed and Civil Twilight. A Time For Lions has songs that relate to a mass conscientiousness which is currently felt around the world. The band's songs have global appeal without intentionally trying to sound worldly.