Starfucker, also known by their “safe-for-work” moniker, STRFKR, released their third LP Miracle Mile last week, along with dates for their ensuing tour (including a trip to the 9:30 Club on March 13th). The band’s previous record, Reptilians, was very popular among critics and fans alike, and showed excellent progress from their self-titled debut. Known for their mix of indie pop, electronica, and sometimes-funky dance numbers, Starfucker has achieved status as a major name, first in their hometown scene of Portland and more recently worldwide.
For their die-hard supporters, Miracle Mile is another solid chapter in the Starfucker catalogue. It has the same kind of hooks, catchy guitar twangs, and slightly obscure references to 19th century poets we’ve become accustomed to since their debut. Still, as much as it appeals to their fan base, the album refuses to climb out of the ever-growing pool of generic, boring indie pop music. Even at its highlights with the songs “Kahlil Gibran” and “Atlantis”, the listener is subjected to adolescent lyrics expressing vague and rather clichéd ideas.
Where Reptilians had a sort of effortless feel, Miracle Mile feels a little forced, and a little over-thought. There’s a clear sound they’re striving for, but their poppy riffs fall slightly short of where they need to be. Instead of creating a passionate piece of art, the album falls into a state of malaise ultimately defined by the slow and painful fade out that ends the record.
While they were not, in my opinion, very successful with this LP, it could very well be a slight blip on an otherwise long and fruitful career for the band. Starfucker’s first two records showcased genuine talent and enthusiasm, and their fans, myself included, eagerly await album number four.