Been Stellar

Been Stellar – Scream From New York

I do love it when I hear music that takes me right back to my teens and early twenties, and Been Stellar are one of those bands. They remind me a lot of the early nineties when groups like Revolver, Moose, Swervedriver, Jacob’s Mouse and Levitation were a regular feature on my turntable. Not that they sound massively like any of those bands, more like an amalgamation of them really. There’s even a nod to the early grunge of artists like Mudhoney or the stoner rock of Dinosaur Jr.

This is all quite delightful of course, transporting me to the festivals of my youth, specifically Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Phoenix Festival, weirdly enough, though it’s not all balls to the wall rock workouts here, as the quieter tunes such as ‘Pumpkin‘ and the title track here give the band a more of an early, pre-stardom Verve feel. It’s highly palatable and makes me pine for the days of Leicester’s Charlotte venue, where I spent an awful lot of time in my youth.

Sweet‘ is probably the poppiest tune here, in a kind of World Of Twist meets Ride way, the mesmerising guitar work from Skyler Knapp pretty much irresistible, while frontman Sam Slocum seems to drift effortlessly between vocal styles that recall everyone from Tim Burgess to Stephen Malkmus, from Thurston Moore to Adorable‘s Piotr Fijalkowski.

There’s a lot to love on Scream From New York, not least the closing track which is like if Radiohead did shoegaze (‘Takedown‘ also nods towards Oxford’s finest), which sounds huge enough to give you goosebumps, and the gnarly post-punkism of ‘Passing Judgment‘. I’m not entirely sure I always understand their lyrics if I’m totally honest, but that’s ok – it doesn’t feel like that matters too much, and you’re left to make your own call on that count.

It’s a bit rough around the edges, which is no bad thing, but Scream From New York does suggest that Been Stellar are very much one to watch, and I feel like they may have a masterpiece on the way in the not-too-distant future. For now, though, I’ll sit back and listen to Scream From New York, which is partly a joyous reminder of my carefree years, and partly a damning reminder that I’m fucking old now. Thanks guys!


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.