The Stars of Disaster are a “Rust-Belt garage psych” quartet founded by a former baggage handler/academic/ person-in-exile-in-Scandinavia.
Anthony Schiappa (the handler/academic/exile in question) began working on songs after returning to his native Ohio in 2014. The Stars became a proper band in February of 2019, and, after dropping a few singles in October, they released their debut album, Love Won’t Save You, on November 22nd. It’s got janglers and it’s got rockers (R.E.M. and Guided By Voices are listed as influences), and it’s tied together by an acid-fried recording ethos that skews voices and instrumentals all topsy-turvy, funhouse style. The cuttingly sarcastic “I Need A War” is a flange-heavy slacker anthem for the jingoist American everyman, the kind of person who sees all social and political policy in terms of personal whims and comforts. Frontman Schiappa deadpans, “We have too much to eat/We are much too free,” and cheerfully sings the chorus (“I need a war to keep myself in sight/I claim a war as my own birthright”) while sunny vocal harmonies sigh behind him, music acting as carefree contrast to the casually bellicose lyrics. To the song’s narrator, warfare is a sporting event, a source of entertainment, a re-affirmation of lazily held beliefs; you can imagine this person cheering while watching Fox News footage of drones blowing up buildings. “I Need A War” is a catchy, psychedelic, and subversive song for our times.