"Starz were like a cross between Aerosmith and KISS. They had all the makings of the biggest band in the world, and they never made it.
Label : CAPITOL SW-11617
Pressing : USA
Year : 1977
Rock Six Times
Sing It, Shout It
All Night Long
Is That A Street Light Or The Moon?
Check all samples: www.allmusic.com/album/violation-mw0000263360
Michael Lee Smith – Vocals
Richie Ranno – Guitars
Brenden Harkin – Guitars
Pete Sweval – Bass
Joe Dube – Drums
Total Time – 46:21
Starz came from the New York glam scene in the early to mid-70s and served up a Hard Rock feast like KISS and Angel. KISS and Angel shared labels, KISS and Starz shared management…..the seeds were planted for Starz to be big.
VIOLATION is Starz’ second album and it is a ’70s Hard Rock classic. ’Cherry Baby’ is a Pop Rock radio hit if I ever heard one. Very simple and direct with a fat bass and decent guitar lines. Michael Lee Smith crooning into the catchy chorus for us to sing along. ‘Rock Six Times’ is a riff rocker full of power and punch. Some interesting guitar tones on this track as well as heavier drums.
Starting slow and easy with a basic rhythm tracks and basic guitar riff, ’Sing It, Shout It’ slowly builds into the chorus. Michael Lee Smith has a knack for melody and the hooks keep you singing right along. It’s a “feel good” Rock tune. The odd thing come solo time is that Ranno does a great Ace Frehley impersonation instead of doing his own thing. The title track starts with a drum intro that kicks into the guitars. This is the anthem, the mission statement for the band. Just take the first line of the chorus:
“I wanna Rock’n Roll….
No….that’s a Violation”
This could have been a big single as the Seventies were a time of anthems, a definite fist-pumper.
‘Subway Terror’ is another muscle rocker that has a pounding bottom end with some great guitar fills. The bass really drives this song and gives it a sinister quality. The lyrics are out of the party realm and more toward a evil vibe.
A ’60s feel comes through on ‘Cool One’. The band writing like KISS to appeal to the teenage primal urges. Absolutely brilliant lyrics about getting together with a girl in a movie theater:
“She reached over and squeezed on my rocks
I lost it all in the popcorn box!”
‘S.T.E.A.D.Y.’ starts off slow but picks up come the chorus and turns into another solid Hard Rock track. Ballad time comes with ‘Is That A Street Light Or The Moon?’. I like the orchestration and strings.
Starz is a mix of KISS with a touch of Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, and Cheap Trick rolled into one. The album is full of solid Hard Rock and the lyrics bring a laugh while retaining their melody and rhyme. Ritchie Ranno sounds like Space Ace on more than one occasion but he delivers a unique guitar attack. Well worth checking out if you like ’70s hard Rock about partying and getting chicks. Favorite songs: ‘Cherry Baby’, ‘Violation’, ‘Cool One’, ‘Sing It, Shout It’, ‘Subway Terror’.