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Dear Superstar - 'Damned Religion' (Blast Recordings) 4/5

Over the past few years Manchester outfit Dear Superstar have been making quite a name for themselves, with a brace of critically acclaimed long players under their belts and an impressive series of gigs that has seen them sharing stages with the likes of Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Bullet For My Valentine and Papa Roach, they have definitely been turning heads. Now we have 'the difficult third album' on our hands, will it help or hinder their attempt at musical world domination?

Well having lived with this one for a few days now, I can safely say I'm finding it very enjoyable. There are ten tracks on show here, everyone a nice tight and well realised package that blends modern Bullet For My Valentine / Avenged Sevenfold / Royal Republic style modern commercial hard rock sensibilities with a good healthy dose of old school hairy type Motley Crue / Ratt / Poison 80's metal. Over all the tracks on offer here are pretty good, even Tomorrow, a ballad that starts out and ends as a terrible cheese fest is saved some what by some nice heavier riffing in the bridge section in the middle. But that track aside this album is a bit of rocker, and anything that rocks is straight up my street. OK some tracks like Glitter Just Like Gold and Anthem To My Life are very commercial sounding with some extremely slick production, but as Black Veil Brides reminded us on their recent 'Set The World On Fire' opus, you can have something commercial and radio friendly, that still rocks like a bastard.

Highlights include riff heavy workout of Crystalized, the highly headbangable Damned Religion, the mean and moody Our City Sleeps and hard and heavy Turn To Dust. But to be honest this is a pretty strong album over all and marks Dear Superstars out as far more worthy contenders to the next big thing crown than some of their rivals such as The Famous Class and the like.

Worth checking out

For fans of.. Black Veil Brides, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, Motley Crue, Royal Republic....

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