Berwanger - "The Star Invaders" Stream

Josh Berwanger and his band have cranked out four releases in the past four years, and their latest offering, "The Star Invaders," contains Berwanger's most memorable rock anthems yet. "The Star Invaders" wasn't marketed as a concept album, but it could qualify considering its songs were written following a UFO sighting that Josh experienced two years ago. The execution of many records that revolve closely around one topic end up heavy-handed, but this one suffers no such fate.

The album is kicked off with its title track, a two-minute powerpop banger with ambitious nods to the glam rock style of David Bowie and other greats of the genre. The speedy synth lines present on the song and others like "Horror Show" don't sound out of place at all and add to the record's mysterious narrative. The latter song's synths call to mind the score from Stranger Things -- fitting, considering its Halloween release.

Aside from the rubber-burning powerpop and glam tunes, Berwanger brings other, more contemplative themes to "The Star Invaders." "Broken Moon," perhaps by no coincidence, features slow, eerie guitar solos similar to those on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" and is the record's longest and most ambitious effort. "I'm A Loser" is another slow jam, but plays more like a bedroom, headphones rocker for all the misfit teens daydreaming about outer space.

One of the final cuts, "The Astronaut," showcases the band's pop smarts and its talent for less-is-more songwriting. Each lick and riff stands out clear as day and offers another break from the rock-n-roll bombardment. "The Star Invaders" is by far one of the most ambitious, adventurous, and memorable rock records Kansas City saw in 2017.

Stream, download, or buy "The Star Invaders" below.

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