Starter Jackets Look Back With "16 Bit" (premiere)

Jedd Beaudoin
Photo: John Mourlas / Courtesy of Grandstand Media

Illinois pop-punk outfit Starter Jackets offer up some fun, carefree rock 'n' roll on new single "16 Bit".

Starter Jackets pulls together members of Hospital Job, the Copyrights, Attic Salt and Local Drags. If those names aren't yet as common as "fork" and "spoon" or even "trebuchet", don't worry. The point isn't whether any of those acts are as popular as Three Dog Night, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, the pokey little puppy or America. It's not even if there's the kind of name recognition that comes with American Football or Arctic Monkeys. The point is, that Starter Jackets is a culmination of talents that have gathered together to prepare a record called Decisions that will creep into your iTunes library (if you let it and if you buy it, not in a U2 kind of way) or into your hands on June 29 via Rad Girlfriend Records.

That label's based in Dayton, Ohio but the band itself was born in the shade of an interstate right outside of Springfield, Illinois. Of course, in that part of the country, those places where folks from the coasts fear to dread are practically next door. But if this whole conversation isn't about common and uncommon words, it's also not about geography. No, it's about music and a track from that aforementioned record, Decisions.

From said record comes the tune "16 Bit" and although it clocks in at under two minutes in length, it's a rocking good example of what this lot can get up to. Imagine Queen had come to life in a post power punk world, that what became of said band was closer to Cheap Trick tussling with the Replacements than rubbing elbows with Green Day. Then you're onto something.

This isn't music intended to change your life but because it doesn't overshoot its aim it might do exactly that. This is a band that sings (well guitarists Luke McNeill and Lanny Durbin handle that) songs (bubbled along by the able rhythm section of Matt Sailor on bass and Fred Malcolm on drums) about obsolete technologies and classic sports team logos. If that doesn't make you wanna hold their collective hands, then nothing, not even your best friend setting "16 Bit" as the introductory song on their MySpace page will, right?

Though it remains fun to lose and to pretend, it also remains fun to embrace carefree rock 'n' roll and that's what Starter Jackets offers. Why ask for anything more?

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