Sick N’ Beautiful – “Starstruck” Album Review

Sick N’ Beautiful – “Starstruck” Album Review

24th August 2022 1 By Gavin Griffiths

What can truly be described, as being sick AND beautiful? You know, simultaneously? A mother bird, feeding her hungry babies, by vomiting aggressively down their throats? My Pornhub search history? Marmite? (“One of those is worse than the others”; he laughs nervously, as he yeets his hard drive out the window …on fire) 

I jest of course …today we’re going to be catching up with SICK N’ BEAUTIFUL; the Roma-based Italian alt. rockers, who are also pulling a GWAR and claiming they come from outer-space (Insert History Channel meme here), first caught this reviewer’s ear a few years ago with their 2018 sophomore album “Element Of Sex”, blending grandiose symphonics, with a sensual, though, brash-at-times, synthetic nu-metal aesthetic.  

In the time since they’ve continued to grow, and found themselves doing bigger things, such as tours alongside the likes of WEDNESDAY 13 etc., decently exposing themselves, which eventually leads us into 2022, and their newest album “Starstruck”. The question is, as a listener, are we going to be starstruck in the same sort of sense of, SIMON COWELL, hearing SUSAN BOYLE’s voice for the first time, or CHRIS ROCK’s face after WILL SMITH got jiggy with it? Let’s find out … 

The album opens up with “Tonight We Go To War” and it’s incredibly bold of the album to assume I am ready for this, and not in fact, sat in my pants, watching SIMON WHISTLER rambling on about crime in a somewhat casual fashion, swigging cheap wine from the bottle. It starts off somewhat disjointed, as though you were trying to find the right frequency tuning in a radio. However, this gives way to a synth-driven dose of extra light industrial rock, which utilizes some clean, strong vocals and a simple, yet bold chorus. Add to that a flowing, impassioned guitar solo and we have ourselves a very decent opener.

Speaking of decent, the Italians do know how to produce a tune or two as proven in the past, and we continue these with “This Is Not The End”. It’s got a sense of, pummeling, bass-rich production that’s been plucked straight out of the nu-metal heyday, and it utilizes some, at times, swagger-fueled vocals. “Defy The Light” and “Deep End Dark” both in their own ways blend subtle piano qualities and keys with the more, grittier, hard-rock instrumentation. “Angels Be Fallin’” again bridges those ever so subtle electronic elements with their more guitar-based approach, and credit to them they can incorporate some decent solos, key changes and transitions. When they get going, they flow incredibly well, and you can’t fault the composition and production here.


It’s not quite ALL plain sailing however…the title track of all things, is a bit of a let-down. Don’t be 100% misled there’s an intensity to it, and it’s got an authority, and it speaks of Hollywood’s underhanded practices; the front of the glitz and the glamour can be a trap for many aspiring talents. It can take lives not just shatter dreams, and the business keeps on rolling on, and we touch on a certain sense of awareness here. Sadly, the chorus is a bit flat and one dimensional, and while the message is a serious one, it comes across as disjointed and a bit boring, which deflects the intended message. The idea was there, the execution however, was like, “Jaws: The Revenge” … didn’t work. Tangent, who the fuck made that shark ROAR? Anybody? No? Moving on… 

Following on from this we have “Schadenfreude” which is basically a term for deriving pleasure from another person’s discomfort. How have I not heard of this term before? Forget He/She/They pronouns, I identify as a schadenfreude! I digress …it’s a bit glitchy by intention in production, and vocally at times, Herma sounds like she’s trying to sing through one of those cheap, noise making groan sticks you, for some reason had as a child. Remember how fun they weren’t?  

The worst offerings however, are “Drop It 2 The B”…its straight forward for the most part, but that chorus? It’s hard to describe, other than honestly, genuinely annoying. If you could imagine pure irritation …it’s this chorus. If you could visualise how this chorus sounds, picture yourself rolling around in fibreglass and nettles, while JOE PASQUALE and GILBERT GOTTFRIED loudly argue over your least favourite thing in the world.  

Finally, then, we have…and prepare yourselves for this…”Ytopynonavevanonypoty”…I legit nearly had a fucking stroke trying to read that. Managed to say it on like, the 11th attempt and I swear down my furniture started floating. AND WHY IS THERE A RANDOM CAT MEOWING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SONG?! I can safely say I do not know what’s going on right now, and the album closes with a vacant stare, a bit of dribble and a need for painkillers.  

Ultimately while the band are exploring new sounds and ideas as they grow, while maintaining that core nu-metal alt./synth aesthetic, the songs themselves here haven’t particularly left this reviewer starstruck. Don’t get me wrong there are a couple of tracks worth listening to and it’s worth a stream at least, but there’s little here to truly warrant repeat listens. Unless that is you intend on going to Hogwarts, that spell-ass-sounding last track in particular may come in handy…Avidi Kadivi and all that. Fun fact; Harry was never a wizard he was just high on bath salts the whole time. What were we talking about? Oh yeah “Starstruck”…yeah, it’s an album.  

Album Score: 6/10

Track Listing:

  1. “Tonight We Go To War”
  2. “Starstruck”
  3. “Drop It 2 The B”
  4. “This Is Not The End”
  5. “Defy The Light”
  6. “Deep End Dark”
  7. “Schadenfeude”
  8. “Pull Of Gravity”
  9. “Pray Tell Me”
  10. “Angels Be Fallin'”
  11. “Ytopynonavevanonypoty”

    Release Date: July 15th (Out Now)

    Record Label: Frontiers

    For all things Sick n Beautiful, click HERE and to purchase the album, click HERE

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