Burning the midnight rubber

Go Kill Mice is what happens when worlds collide. Comprised of Northern Californians transplanted to the heart of Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood, Starlite Desperation is that rare, freakish rock ‘n’ roll animal that stands astride garage-punk tradition and howling, postmodern paranoia, and actually manages to pull the best from both worlds. Go Kill Mice is a most welcome addition to the desperate rock ‘n’ roll canon, executed with as much reckless abandon as pinpoint, airtight precision. In frontman-guitar slinger Dante Adrian, Starlite Desperation is a collision of urban, androgynous, 4 a.m. glamourboy and yowling, libidinous, backwoods wildman – sort of a cross between Nick Cave and Hasil Adkins.

From the opening drive and insistence of "What I Want" to the feverish, epic nine-minute psychotic reaction of the rave-up title track, Starlite Desperation doesn’t stray far from rock’s rudiments – be that the country-tinged "The Gold Rush" or the Nuggets-esque "Notes From the Drag." And, as any savvy consumer of rock knows, the further you stray from the rudiments (aka Chuck Berry), the sketchier the product.

That’s not to say Starlite Desperation isn’t sketchy. It is – but in the nervous, amped-up, too-late, too-many-miles-to-go-till-sleep sense. After midnight, though, these three toughs let it all hang out, and now we can, at least sonically, tool down the highway with ‘em.

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