The Rocky Valentines/Starflyer 59 – The Rocky Valentines/Starflyer 59 Split – Review

The Rocky Valentines/Starflyer 59

The Rocky Valentines/Starflyer 59 Split (Tooth & Nail)
By Scott Deckman

I got bashed in my review of Starflyer 59‘s last release, the sleepy Vanity, by a bunch of whiners on the band’s largest FB fan page (of which I’m a member. It wasn’t great, sue me). Now, I risk lambasting again by reviewing The Rocky Valentines/Starflyer 59 Split EP. It’s a familial venture, pop Jason Martin and son Charlie. For the former, it’s an orchestral reworking of previous songs, for the latter, its new ones.


Opener “Doing All I Can” is a chip off the latter-day Jason. It sounds like it was lifted from Young in My Head. Unlike his dad’s soft, evocative, downer croon, Charlie unfortunately has a Blink-182-ish lilt to his. Not his fault. The music itself, polished guitar indie rock, is solid, if not exactly rocking. “Scream and Shout” is more of the same, plus a Santo & Johnny “Sleep Walk” coda. For dad’s part, the reworking of the ironic “Major Awards” from Old is a florid affair. It doesn’t improve on the original, but it doesn’t do it any injustice, either. Some will delight in the fact that the falsetto backing croons have been excised; some may lament the same. Martin’s voice is slightly lower in the mix as well. “I Was 17,” an extra that didn’t make the band’s third record, Americana, but did appear on the Easy Come Easy Go compilation, continues the orchestral direction. The most stark difference in the new version also concerns his voice, the pitch. Martin has mostly sung in a lower register in the last two decades (with his voice higher in the mix), as he does here. Over the years, his somnambulant vocals have become as much instrument as storyteller.

Short and sweet, nice split.