While other bands focus on love or coping with loss, Brooklyn’s Dead Stars tackle life’s biggest struggle: the will to do anything at all. Throughout Dead Stars’ new EP High Gain, most of the lyrics center around the lows of life. Take their single “Waste Away.” It’s an ode to hanging around doing nothing, a feeling that singer and guitarist Jeff Moore knows well, as he admits “sometimes the sun is out and I see people’s Facebook posts like, ‘It’s such a nice day!’ and I’m sitting on my couch in the dark.” While the EP focuses on self-doubt and depression, it’s not all doom and gloom. Dead Stars’ guitar melodies are upbeat, something they continually do on each EP they put out (“Leaving” off their debut EP I Get By in particular oozes with shoegaze pizzazz) — the perfect juxtaposition to Moore’s bummer-filled lyrics.
Not only do they lament their friends’ sunny dispositions, they tend to dip into the ’90s slacker-rock, fuzz ‘n’ scuzz sound that was championed by acts like Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. And that’s no accident. “When people tell us what they think our band sounds like, they always say [we remind them of] their favorite bands that they discovered when they first started discovering music. I want our band to bring back that feeling [of] when you first started getting into music,” Moore says. “Even bands now, like Yuck and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, stuff like that is what we like and it comes through with the stuff we do.”
As far as future plans go, Moore hopes they will release a full length soon, would love to tour with Dinosaur Jr. and aspires to perform all over Europe. I tell him it sounds like things will work out. “Or it won’t,” he responds matter-of-factly. “But you do it because you love playing music. I wouldn’t want to do anything else, so if this is what it takes to do what I love, then that’s fine.”
High Gain is out now via Uninhabitable Mansions.