It’s almost a cliché at this point; Gabriel Starwood, a man-machine hybrid with a disco ball for a head from planet Vitrus, starts a band in Philly, pulling together likeminded androids and turns out a solid debut (2012’s Transmission). But here’s where it veers off that well-trodden pseudo human band Behind the Music episode. Five years later, Starwood is back with a fantastically-creative 6-song EP, proving despite the goofy origin story, they actually have the musical chops to back it up.
Part evil ELO with a little bit of The Misfits thrown in, Starwood’s God of the Drones kicks off with the ominous opener “The Dig” with lyrics spit out a rate that would make Henry Rollins jealous. The group doesn’t let up for the next 25 minutes, ripping through one synth-heavy, electro rock number after the next. The brilliance here is in the genre bleeding of the electronic synth (and at times piano), and ‘70s hard rock drumming. You have to go back to a band like Queen to find another group that blends these two styles so effortlessly. The album closer, the 6-minute “Security Checkpoint B” could have convincingly come off of Queen’s Jazz.
In their online manifesto, the band brags that S.T.A.R.W.O.O.D. (Sociopathic Time Altering Robot Warrior Of Organic Design) prototypes have plans for mass manipulation of the human race. If this is the soundtrack, I’m cool with that. We’ve already managed to fuck things up on our own.