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Album Review

For better or worse, the copyright date on Daystar may as well read "1992" instead of a decade later: the Lab Partners craft such immaculately perfect dream pop that their music is virtually indistinguishable from forebears like Ride, the Swirlies, and the Drop Nineteens; a blow for originality, to be sure, but a treat for listeners who've never quite gotten over the shoegazer sound. It's impossible to discuss Daystar without making comparisons to other bands, just as it's impossible to talk about the Strokes, Interpol, or the White Stripes without mentioning their own influences and reference points; contemporary rock & roll has become a snake swallowing its own tail, and what separates good music from bad is the aptitude and energy with which the artists in question reinterpret the past for today. And by that measure, the Lab Partners are very good at what they do, creating epic, narcotic drone rock on par with their inspirations. If you still hold a candle for the heyday of Creation Records, this is for you.


Formed: 1998 in Dayton, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Dayton, OH-based dream pop quartet the Lab Partners formed in 1998 -- singer/guitarist Mike Smith and drummer Matt Schulz previously teamed in Honeyburn, while guitarist Kevin Parrett previously tenured with Ten O'Clock Scholar. Keyboardist Amy Smith, also Mike's wife, rounded out the original lineup, which issued its self-titled debut EP in 1999; the Turn It On EP followed a year later. Schulz subsequently left the Lab Partners to sign on with punk-pop combo Let's Crash, later drumming in Enon as...
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