The Starkillers – Close To The End

We’re excited to be listening to the latest from Utah’s (US,) The Starkillers. Their newest single, Close To The End, reached the top of our reviews pile here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today. We were previously blown away by their single, Are You Thinking Of Me, so the excitement in the studio when we hit play was evident!

The Starkillers are releasing several tracks from an album which discusses the themes of toxic relationships. Close To The End is the title track and encapsulates the theme of the album. It’s about that feeling in a relationship where you are still working to keep it from driving off the cliff, but see the cliff’s edge coming closer and closer. That feeling of the end being right around the corner, and starting to notice all the small things that are leading to it.

The Starkillers are Jon Omen – lead vocalist, Chris Panic – bassist, Doc Taylor – drummer, Mike Fiedel – guitarist.

Close To The End builds in nicely. Starting on electric guitar and some busy hi-hat work, the bass helps to keep building momentum and the kick drum joins in. By the time the vocals join the mix, we’re already excited!

The instrumentation drops back a little as the vocals come in, leaving plenty of space for the lead vocalist to shine. We love the drop back to drums, vocals and some gorgeously melodic and interesting basslines.

The occasional additional effect on the vocals helps make them stand out even more. We were particularly impressed with the lead vocals on the lines leading into the chorus. Displaying some real power and passion in the high notes here, Jon Omen’s voice has some wonderful use of belt techniques. The addition of harmonies and background vocals add a superb touch to the choruses and help to make this a real sing-along anthem.

Each member of the band must be praised for some superb work here. The bass is exciting and interesting to listen to throughout the song, and the guitar playing is precise and fills some gaps between vocal lines beautifully. We particularly like the section after the chorus before the verse comes back in. The drumming in this track is characterful, with some fantastic little fills that display Taylor’s skills perfectly.

This is a short song with a stinger ending, and we hit replay immediately just to soak up a little more of this superb Utah-based rock band. We feel this is a track which could break them into commercial radio, but at the very least, this is a song which should garner great attention from college radio.

From a production perspective, we suggest a boost around 1.5kHz would bring some extra ‘edge’ and definition into the track and another boost in the top octave for some extra brightness and ‘sizzle’. Finally, a light compressor/limiter and around 3dB of make up gain would add to the warmth in the track as well as bring a little extra volume.

The Starkillers have nailed it again with another superb track that displays the musicianship and songwriting abilities of a very talented group of guys. We strongly urge you to add this track to your playlist today.