From the very first moments of their latest album, Stardust Galaxies, Parlotones show why they are being hailed as South Africa’s answer to some of the UK’s biggest rock groups. The take away message from the album? Arena ready. The slow-burner ballads are big, polished and infections, all terrific attributes for an outfit poised for a meteoric rise.
Opener, “Push Me To The Floor,” is an epic rock-opera piece, in the mold of UK powerhouse, Muse. Lead singer Kahn Morbee has got a glam-rock dynamicism reminiscent of Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons) and when the first chorus comes in you know these guys have got something going.
Following is “The Stars Fall Down” a bright piano ballad, and “Should We Fight Back,” featuring a progressive pulsing synth line, driving rhythm and a catchy hook. “Should we fight back/or should we just swallow our pride?” asks Morbee sounding like Brandon Flowers in the Killers’ “Smile Like You Mean It.” Next, on “We Call This Dancing,” Parlotones once again evoke the Killers inside them, exploding into a catchy disco-shuffle with yet another catchy hook.
Tearjerker, “Fly To The Moon” can only make you think of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” and “Life Design” is a little more edgy, surprisingly sounding like Interpol. The album ends with “Stardust Galaxies,” the album’s namesake in a slot often designated for Mr. Insignificant. However, Zolani Mahola of South African outfit Freshlyground, shows up for a beautiful acoustic duet with Morbee, closing out the album with raw passion garnered without heat.