The Allstar Project: Your Reward... A Bullet

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Theo Ellington

31st January 2008
At 12:31 GMT

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The various music scenes that form across earth's circle all generally work very much like a family tree. A scene is formed and a batch of bands feed directly from one another's influence.

After stage one, there tends to be a secound group of bands who once, were fans of the former, being propelled by the freshness of that particular scene into picking up instruments and making music which comes close and sometimes even manages to surpass the very music it was inspired by.

Sadly the tree tends to become corrupted a few generations down the line with bands engaging in frequent and unrepentant inbreeding. which gives birth to bands that are simply much weaker versions of their parents, and ultimately the demise of a once great genre begins.

Obviously there are bands who escape this disastrous fate, and then there are some which are caught on the outskirts of the blast radius and struggle to crawl away with their lives intact. On that note, welcome The Allstar Project.

Luckily for them, even the weakest of attempts in the circle they reside in, to emulate the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Don Caballero and Tortoise end up being largely enjoyable experiences. Proving even more so what a catastrophic movement the instrumental music that started to emerge and prosper in the late 80's early 90's was!

As you may have been able to tell from the tone thus far The Allstar Project - whether consciously or not - have breached the line between progression and the mirroring of somebody else's unique style here. They sadly appear to have ripped masses of their structures and ideas right out from the minds of GY!BE. This can be seen right through to the downright obvious concept plagarism of the use of propaganda like messages on "Yehudi Lights". More big resemblances are seen to artists such as Slint and Shellac on "Frienemies" within the guitar movements.

As touched upon briefly earlier though, even with all these traits, it is largely impossible to help the urge to enjoy the listening experience, especially on "Lasers Go Through Monkeys" which features quite an amusing commentary from an Northern man about (amongst other things) the procedures he'd have to go through if he were trapped on an island. The end result is satisfyingly touching.

These frequent high points makes it difficult to hold a grudge against "Your Reward... A Bullet". When the likes of "Ghost Canyon II" and "For A Friend" with their arresting power and effect a downward look becomes ever trickier. However, in the end, whilst listening all that's likely to occupy your mind is "I'm sure I've heard this exact idea somewhere else before". The chances are very high that you have.

Perhaps if you could strike all memories of Godspeed from your mind, the experience of the Allstar Project would seem much more enjoyable. Finding a subject for the 'Spotless Mind' experiment might be difficult though, we'd want to do no such thing.

Rating:  6 / 10

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