Vinyl Theatre - Starcruiser Review

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Alt-pop is a tricky genre to hone, and this Milwaukee-born band does it justice with their upcoming album, Starcruiser. Vinyl Theatre are back for their third full-length album and are killing the game after parting ways with Fueled By Ramen last year. If the trio sounds familiar, you may recognize them from the Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 soundtrack with the banger, “Shine On” off of the album ORIGAMI. Regardless, even if you don’t recognize their name you should get to know them with the release of this album as you will not be disappointed by its sound. The trio consists of singer/guitarist Keegan Calmes, keyboardist Chris Senner, and drummer Nick Cesarz, who have been playing together in Vinyl Theatre since 2009, coming a long way to today.

Starcruiser is absolutely boundless and reminiscent to me of the music I loved as a child, with that nostalgic sound sprinkled into modern trends in the genre to make an interesting album. Specifically in “We Make The Music”, the track keeps flashing me back to childhood jamming to NSYNC, with the opening automatically catching my ear and making me feel joy. In fact, there’s so much nostalgia in the back of my head when listening to the Starcruiser all while hearing the new sounds and tricks that I appreciate. Then you have “Hold Me Down”, that has the best groove of the entire album and has a great composition and balance through and through. The whole album has a fairly common feeling, with the hypnotic synth parts and guitars mixing together for the perfect alt-pop album. But Starcruiser is not just the album from some dudes that toured with TOP that one time that can be overlooked. Starcruiser is an amazing album that has the capability of being a charting album, label or not, as it has that contagious design that bands have used to their advantage for years to succeed. This album is diverse, new, fresh, popular, creative… I could go on for hours if I had a thesaurus and anyone that cared to read. Regardless, Vinyl Theatre outdid themselves with this album and I can’t wait for its release so everyone can hear what these guys have been up to. And if you can listen through this whole album and get to “Dream of Me” (my personal favorite of this album) and you’re still iffy about these guys, maybe alt-pop is not the genre for you.

I never thought that alt-pop would ever be a popular genre in mainstream media, mainly because the formula of mashing together pop elements with alternative sounds and lyrics doesn’t bode well with the masses. I was wrong, though, with the rise of Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, and the rebirth of 5 Seconds of Summer being massive on the Top 40 charts. If you want to add another rising band to your playlists, though, I would highly recommend Vinyl Theatre and their album, Starcruiser, coming out August 31st. You can preorder their album here and check out the already released “Feel It All” on their YouTube channel here. They are also going on a headlining tour from September through November, kicking it off with the following dates:


SEP 05 Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen

SEP 06 Lakewood, OH- The Foundry

SEP 07 Columbus, OH- The Basement

SEP 09 Rochester, NY- Montage Music Hall

SEP 11 Burlington, VT- Higher Ground

SEP 12 Philadelphia, PA- The Foundry at the Fillmore

SEP 13 Lancaster, PA- Chameleon Club

SEP 14 Washington, DC- DC9

SEP 15 Richmond, VA- Canal Club

SEP 16 Jacksonville, FL- Jack Rabbit's

If you want to see all the dates, check out their Facebook here and make sure to get your tickets to see these guys live.


By Summer Hartley