Stars In Stereo

StarsInStereo-02AStars In Stereo is an alternative rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Stars In Stereo are Bec Hollcraft (lead vocals), Jordan McGraw (guitar), Ryan “Frogs” McCormack (bass), and Drew Langan (drums). They cite as influences U2, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Foo Fighters, and Daft Punk. But, I would think Paramore, too.

I saw this band, for the first time, opening for Halestorm, and, they were a wonderful surprise. But, as it turns out, I actually had their self-titled debut in my music library all along. And, later, I learned that singer Bec Hollcraft is (or was) BECCA, an American singer/songwriter who had some success in Japan a few years ago.

Rebecca “Bec” Hollcraft was born in Portland, OR, in 1989. She was, initially, an artist developed by singer/songwriter Meredith Brooks (who had a hit with “Bitch” in 1995). She was signed by Sony Music Japan in 2008, and, her debut album, ALIVE!!, was released later that year. “I’m ALIVE!”, her most popular song, was used as the first ending theme of the anime Black Butler. Her second album, TOKYO-O-ING, was released in 2009, followed, later that year, by the EP Kickin’ & Screamin’, her US debut. BEST was released in 2011.

BECCA‘s music is recommended if you like Avril Lavigne, Skye Sweetnam, or Fefe Dobson, or Orianthi. Both of BECCA‘s solo albums are packed with hooky pop/rockers and sincere ballads, and, truth be told, there is not a bad track to be heard. But, favorite tracks include “TURN TO STONE”, “Better Off Alone” and “Love You Now” (from ALIVE!!); and “Love Or Leave” and “How Will You Know” (from TOKYO-O-ING). BECCA, solo is awesome, however …

BennieBecca-01BIn 2010, BECCA collaborated with Japanese pop/R&B duo BENNIE K and released one amazing album under the name BENNIE BECCA. BENNIE K is singer YUKI and rapper CICO, and, they mix pop, rock, rap, hip-hop, R&B and soul, with vocals in both Japanese and English. YUKI‘s voice is amazingly tuneful, while CICO‘s raps are soulful and sexy. BENNIE K released 5 albums between 2002-2007. Some of my favorite tracks are “Oasis feat. Diggy-MO’ (SOUL’d OUT)” (from 2004’s Synchronicity); and, “Happy Drive ~Taste Your Stuff~” and “Puppy Love pt.2” (from 2005’s Japana-rhythm). CICO‘s accent is so damn sexy! Anyway …

BENNIE BECCA, the album, is one of my favorite Japanese albums. BECCA‘s excellent tracks “Dreamer” and “Don’t Save Me” were carried over from TOKYO-O-ING. Those two, along with “KAMINARI GIRL” and “Ashita with Blaise Plant (MONKEY MAJIK)”, were included on BECCA’s BEST. “Ashita” is pure pop/rock perfection that is so addictive you will go insane! Other favorite tracks are the alt-rocker “Cinderella Syndrome” and the pop/hip-hop ballad “The Beginning”. A stunning release!

But, this post is about Stars In Stereo, right? Yes, it is.

StarsInStereo-01BSo, now, Bec Hollcraft is the frontwoman for Stars In Stereo, which is yet another lovely chapter in this young woman’s delightful career! Stars In Stereo is much more mature than Bec‘s solo work as BECCA, with a bigger, driving alternative rock sound with emo influences. Bec‘s voice is similar, at times, to Paramore‘s Hayley Williams, so fans of that band should love this band. Their self-titled 2012 debut (or SINS) is stocked with harder-edged pop/rock tracks that should be dominating mainstream radio. “The Broken”, “Violence”, “All Together”, “Lie Down”, and, especially, “Every Last Thing” (both versions!) are great tracks. But, for me, one song stands out above all the rest. That song is “Queen of Catastrophe”, an emotionally-draining anthemic ballad. Thank you, Lzzy Hale, for giving me the opportunity to notice this cool band!

Watch the video for “Every Last Thing” here:

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