In 2007 furious Boston band Major Stars
brought aboard the first in what’s turned out to be a string of singers, relieving manic guitarist Wayne Rogers of vocal duties and allowing him to devote all his energy to scalding six-string fireworks. Last year’s Decibels of Gratitude
(Important) introduced the third such singer, Hayley Thompson-King, and it’s never been more obvious that freeing up Rogers was a great idea: he sounds more locked-in than ever with bassist Tom Leonard and fellow guitarist Kate Biggar, his longtime musical partner, and Major Stars are playing longer songs with bigger solos and more high-octane interplay. Unfortunately, Thompson-King sounds a bit out of place amid all the roaring noise and relentless hard-rock riffs—she delivers the melodies more than adequately, but she tends to come off as a petulant, puny indie-rock singer or a glossy new-wave diva. Given that “Fuse” and “Turning for Home” run eight and thirteen minutes, though, she’s sitting out a good chunk of the time anyway. —Peter Margasak The Hecks and Land of Blood & Sunshine open.