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Lani Ford: Press

Put It To Your Head Reviews

Typical ! I love New York City...I love the place, the food, the buildings, the people, the attitude, the vibe, but most of all, the music scene. Noo Yoik has, to me anyway, always produced the best bands, and Stark are no exception to that rule. Fronted by the very talented Lani Ford, by day TV personality, by night, hard-rockin' bass player with one of the coolest acts on the scene. 'Put it to your head' is the brand new offering by the band, who also include in the line-up, Josette on guitars {on recording only, now Joe Hogan} and Sweet Rob Endemann on the sticks. The subject matter of the songs is complex and deals with life issues, love, drug addictions, dreams and just about every emotion available to your average person. Track Listing : 18 Again I Pay [ Man In The Moon ] Dreams Come True OH NO! Nothing's Wrong Co-Dependent This Day Reliably Disappointing Relationship Disturbed Butterfly Opening chords of '18 Again' just make me wanna strap on a Les Paul, crank up the Fender Twin and join right in with them! Josette certainly rocks out with the best of 'em, with a sound reminiscent of Johnny Ramone's wall of sound, but with a delicate side as well. The lyrics aren't just your average 'throw-away-garden variety' too, they are well thought out, catchy Power Punk at its best. '18 Again with Malicious Intent, so many stories I don't need to invent' kinda sets the scene here. 'Dreams Come True' has possibly the greatest line ever written - 'Kelly ended up with the guy Kate was S'posed to marry, they have a little black dog and a brand new baby, Kate lives uptown in her high-rise apartment, she does alright as a mid-priced Dominatrix...' wonderful! The CD slides into the darker side of life with the matserpiece that is 'Co-Dependent' which delves deep into the agony and ecstasy of true love and relationships with someone that is unable to help themselves and ultimately it falls apart. 'He needs drugs, and I need him' kinda tells it all. There is an underlying sarcasm in some of the songs, witty and creative. 'Reliably Disappointing Relationship' keeps the theme with its ' I dig, our reliably disappointing relationship, we just get drunk and talk to everyone else all night'...ever experienced that? The best track is always a hard one to pin on any collection of songs, but if I had to choose, it would be the 'suzi Quatro'-alike 'Disturbed' with its 'if you like drinkin' drivin' say Yeah, YEAH!' chorus and ramrod guitars. This would be quite easily the song that gets any crowd whipped into a frenzy! The CD ends on a light note with the excellent 'Butterfly' hammered out on an acoustic, again dealing with personal loss. The band have just completed a short UK tour to promote the CD, and we caught them at two of their London shows. Look out for that in next month's Soundcheck, and for readers in NYC, look out, they're headed back real soon with some shows in the city! Well recommended listening! Chris Find out more about Stark by going to their Website / Myspace http://www.starknyc.com http://www.myspace.com/stark For photos and 18 Again playing while you read, go to website

http://wildysworld.blogspot.com/2008/02/review-stark-put-it-to-your-head.html Stark – Put It To Your Head 2007 Kicking and Screaming Music What is a mild-mannered traffic reporter to do? A certain amount of angst builds up delivering the same messages of gridlock day-in and day-out in a major metropolitan area such as New York. Stark leader Lani Ford takes out her frustrations on the New York City Indie scene with great effect. Stark's 2nd studio release Put It To Your Head evokes Courtney Love at her finest as well as the finely tuned angst of Green Day. Ford is joined for this release by guitarist Josette and drummer "Sweet Rob" Endemann. The sound morphs from CBGB era Punk to straightforward rock without losing a single identity, which is quite an accomplishment. "18 Again" is a fun romp that will get your feet moving and looking for the pit. "I Pay" is the track that most evokes Courtney Love, and is a highlight. Other highlights include "Nothing's Wrong", "This Day", "Disturbed", and the acoustic version of "Butterfly". The secret of Stark is that if you strip away the amplifiers and attitude, they can really play and sing. This is a very talented young power trio who with the right breaks are destined for big things. Check them out, and if you're in the city go see a show! Rating: Buy It Soon! You can learn more about Stark at www.myspace.com/Stark or www.starknyc.com. You can purchase Put It To Your Head at www.cdbaby.com/cd/laniford. Wildy Haskell Wildy's World wildysworld.blogspot.com

"STARK's new release 'Put It To Your Head' hits with a bang—sometimes hard, sometimes gentle, always rockin'. Streetwise tunes that will have you smiling, raunchy guitars and a kick ass bottom line. This one comes on strong and then goes for broke, the perfect soundtrack to your insane life. Listen up wasties…they've got what you need, when you need it!"

“Lani Ford, the nucleus, bassist and vocalist of STARK, has returned with a new album of introspective, personal songs about life in the urban soap opera of Manhattan. She has a new band, too…who only serve to improve the sound established on 2004’s ‘The Curse’. From the Ramones-style opener, ’18 Again’, through to the closing emotional catharsis of the acoustic ‘Butterfly’, Ford takes us on a journey of the world as she sees it, along with her dry cynical commentary on the day-to-day drama. ‘I Pay (Man in the Moon)’ pairs Arabic scales with mournful Delta blues lyrics. ‘Dreams Come True’ describes intertwined dysfunctional relationships with the insight of Lou Reed but without the contempt. Rock ‘n’ roll should be this good.”

“On the surface of it STARK (sometimes referring to themselves as STARKnyc) are typical New York tough chicks, boasting aggressive guitar work and closely observed tales of junkie love (‘Co-Dependent’, ‘Nothing’s Wrong’), rendered in the Courtney-sucking-on-shrapnel rasp of feisty frontwoman Lani Ford. Opening track ’18 Again’ is a near perfect exercise in this sort of angst-ridden Babes In Toyland/Betty Blowtorch inspired punk, but delve further and you’ll find that beneath the harsh exterior ‘Put It To Your Head’ has a heart of golden melody, in core blues and country inspired songs which if anything cut deepest with their sneaking attack of sly hooks and poetic sensibilities.”

“Three years on and STARK are back with a new album and this really does kick ass! Both lyrically and musically this is much tighter than their debut ‘The Curse’. That break has certainly given Lani Ford food for thought and with those life experiences and changes in the band will certainly guarantee this is one of the best albums I’m going to hear in 2008. Opening up with the potent ’18 Again’ this album steams into wicked songs such as ‘Dreams Come True’, ‘Nothing’s Wrong’, ‘Reliably Disappointing Relationship’ and ‘Disturbed’. Lani Ford doesn’t mess around here and for me has got to be one of the best artists to come out of NYC. Not only do you get a great album musically but the production is top notch and packaging is the tops too. It’s great to read Lani’s lyrics too—even if you don’t like the music I’m sure you’ll love how she writes. Yes, check this baby out."

“Catchy straight ahead rock mixed with punk overtones…STARK, a trio who hail from NYC have a new album out aptly called ‘Put It To Your Head’. All the songs are written by Lani Ford who at times sounds a lot like Bebe Buell [the author’s favorite artist]. Besides vocal chores, Ms. Ford plays bass…My personal favorites are ’18 Again’ and ‘OH NO!’ All the songs are good and I strongly suggest you check them out yourself.”

STARK - Put It To Your Head (ww.starknyc.com) A delightfully crunchy’n’punchy 10 song explosion of pleasingly raw’n’raucous punk rock sass and spirit, this album really gets your blood boiling and your ass shakin’ with its boundless go-for-it vitality and fierce, aggressive, yet still melodic sound. Lead singer Lani Ford growls out the sharp, stinging lyrics with deliciously sexy’n’snarly aplomb. The grinding guitars, churning basslines, and jackhammer drums ensure that the snappy tempos and driving beats never let up for a minute. All the songs shake, rattle and rumble with substantial flair and gusto to spare; highlights include the rousing opening track “18 Again,” the ferociously kickin’ “Nothing’s Wrong,” the chilling “Co-Dependent,” and the wonderfully thrilling full-throttle scorcher “Disturbed.” Things quiet down and end on a beautifully touching note with the lovely acoustic ballad “Butterfly.” An excellent and very impressive album.

Stark is an odd sort of punk trio. Lani Ford sings lead over fast guitar rockers, but her voice is far too sweet for down ‘n dirty punk rock. Put It To Your Head is this act’s second full-length CD, and one possible reason why Ford sounds a little too refined to be a true punk is that she is a Fox 5 traffic reporter and a WPLJ New York DJ. Songs like “18 Again” are short, sharp shocks of sound, but this group also knows how to slow down the mood. “Butterfly” is sweetly acoustic, while “Dreams Come True” has a nice little shuffle beat to it. The act’s guitarist is also a female, which makes it two-thirds girl group I guess. Guitarist Josette is also a fine player, which she reveals with her nice solo during “Dreams Come True.” In a few instances, the group takes on social issues. One such example of this social conscience is “Nothing’s Wrong," which addresses those who are in denial about their drug habits. Drugs also enter into “Co-Dependent," where Ford sings, “He needs drugs, and I need him, there is no way that I can win.” When Stark keeps things straightforward and simple, they’re at their gutsy best. When they follow “Reliably Disappointing Relationship (R-D-R)” with “Disturbed," which includes explicit lyrics, they sing politically incorrect words about enjoying drinking and driving. Of course, they also make it clear that these are the opinions of a truly disturbed person and not the band’s actual perspective. But the song’s fast ‘n loud playing finds Stark being true to themselves artistically. Even the acoustic closer, “Butterfly," succeeds. Not because it abandons punk sonics, but because Ford has a naturally pretty voice – one that can handle a ballad, such as this one, quite easily. Stark gives mixed results because the band tries to do too many things well. It would have been more enjoyable had the group just played up its garage rock instincts from start to finish. When Stark thrashes without any hesitation, Put It To Your Head becomes a wild, good time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009 STARK - Put it to Your Head As it’s title implies, Stark’s Put it to Your Head is an album motivated by strong actions drawn from life taxing experiences, their effects, and possessing the individual will to over come them all and chalk it up to being, well, just life. It is the second release from this New York City rock trio, whose music and attitude is directly informed and reflective of it’s home. What sets Stark apart from being your run-of-the-mill New York City bar band are their subtly layered style and the cohesive incorporation of that style. Their music is decidedly rock but not subjugated to blind genre predictability. The more intense guitar work of Josette infuses slight southern tinged blues riffs beside Lani Ford’s gritty punk bass rhythms (“18 Again,” “Disturbed”). While on the ditty “Dreams Come True” the entire band is able to successfully turn it down a notch via the foundation of Sweet Rob Endermann’s drumming; resulting in an indie slice of life piece that would could raise the jealousy of Liz Phair. Vocally Ford has a clean, strong, and melodic alto with a slight vibrato that can draw you in as well as soar over you. Lyrically she is a straight shooter with an onus for tell-all honesty with little subtext that resonates simultaneously as both tough and tender. The yearning “Co-Dependant” depicts a star-crossed relationship with dichotomistic cravings. “This Day” is a tailor made rock anthem about discovering and owning up to ones own self-image. While the stand out “OH NO!” realistically captures the flood of emotions in that first instant of awareness of the inevitable. The album closes with the acoustic “Butterfly,” a painful and personal “Dear John” letter that exhibits ugly strength and melancholic pathos out of its necessity for finality and moving on. A fitting end to an album full of life experiences from a city that could make anyone put a variety of things to their head and yet still have the will to live again.

STARK-Put It To Your Head (independent) STARK hails from New York City and they play no-nonsense rock and roll. The band consists of Lani Ford on lead vocals and bass, Josette on guitars and Sweet Rob Endermann on drums. In opener “18 Again”, the band already shows off some great action. Think in the direction of THE PRETENDERS and THE RAMONES to get a good description of their sound. Yes, it’s that filthy. In “I Pay (Man In The Moon)”, they take back some speed. “Put It To Your Head” is already the second album by this band, which proves that they are very much capable of writing catchy and ‘easy-on-the-ear’ rock songs. No matter, if it’s a song with a punk rock attitude, like the great opener, or one with a more melodic edge. The album contains ten new tracks and runs for about thirty-five minutes. In “Oh No”, I definitely hear the influence of THE PRETENDERS again, which they can take as a big compliment. The mix of pop, rock, punk, country and soul will easily appeal to many music fans out there. The melody is there, the vibe is good, and some of the songs may even sound right on national radio. A song like “Nothing’s Wrong” may not be suitable for radio airplay maybe, but that makes it even more interesting for dirty rawk and rollers like ourselves. A job well done on this one! “Co-Dependent” and “This Day” are uptempo again, and also “R-D-R”, which stands for “Reliably Disappointing Relationship” gets a nice groove by Lani. While “Disturbed” brings back the punk attitude of the band. I decided to turn up the volume a bit louder on this one, just to let some sweat out. The name of BLONDIE comes to mind hearing this song. “Put It To Your Head” closes with an acoustic song, called “Butterfly”, where the name of HOLE popped up in my mind. STARK is a name to remember, if you like a fresh mix of different styles, topped with raunchy guitarwork. Sometimes sleazy or punky or at other times modest and melodic, yet always with a good vibe in every song. Website: http://www.starknyc.com. [8 points out of 10]

STARK! I am a fan! Man... This babe tells the truth and no holds barred. I find her extremely raunchy and it totally makes my wanker wobble, but let me just say that I am only through half of the album and I AM IN LOVE!!! That's of course if I believed in that sort of shit. The next couple of shows are going to be an in depth listen to this rock band. And it is rock, sure a little of this a little of that all mixed up like thrice fried rice, but ain't that America? This first album is no doubt not for the youngsters and those who can't handle words like fuck and pussy and shit like that. It's not what you would call real intricate or complicated song structure, just real. So the next couple of shows are going to be a STARK Fest where I review each song on its merits or lack thereof. All of the new shows are going to be something like this format, but you never know... I might just play a bunch of shit and never say anything like 99% of these other Internet pretend radio shows do. It's my show, and I can do whatever I want. If you don't like it... GET YOUR OWN DAMN SHOW! You ain't paying my ass anyway, so shut the fuck up!

STARK- PUT IT TO YOUR HEAD(CD-KICKING AND SCREAMING MUSIC KSM002) On this record so have Lani changed her band against other members and that maybe she did the right thing to do. It sounds more professional nowadays and I think once again on groups where they have had girls in the front and on vocals and here I think about Photos if someone remembers them. You can anyway understand that this sounds really punky sometimes when I describe the music I hope. I think that the acoustic song Butterfly should have been in the middle of the record instead just to take down the tempo a little and after that starting up the tempo again. Really Ok is it anyway and an interview is to be expected.(SEVEN)