Starz: George DiAna (bass instrument); Joe X. Dube (drum); Michael Lee Smith, Richie Ranno.
Personnel: Michael Lee Smith (vocals); Richie Ranno (guitar); Joe X. Dube (drums).
Audio Mixer: Bruno Ravel.
Recording information: Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH (2004).
While the emergence of disco and punk dominated the streets of New York City in the mid-'70s, groups like Sweet, Kiss, and Starz attempted to keep the hard rock home fires burning, even in the face of ever-changing pop music. Make no mistake, though: the majority of Starz's eponymous debut record isn't designed for the top of the charts. It's a simple, catchy, riff-driven album from start to finish. Even with the formulaic and predictably safe arena rock of "Detroit Girls" and "Tear It Down," the full album fails to give the boost that the group so desperately needed to reach the plateaus of an Aerosmith, Kiss, or any arena rock group of that caliber. A mediocre debut, to be sure, and definitely not the release for casual fans to introduce themselves to the group. ~ Rob Theakston