Final lineup, circa 2014-2017:
Doug Edmunds – Rhythm guitar, keys, lead vocals
Dewey McCafferty – Lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Lance Westerlund – Bass, backing vocals
Jackson McGee – Drums
The Stars Explode began making hook-heavy pop rock in 2008, when former Gladhands founding member, Doug Edmunds, wrote, recorded and released the band’s first album more or less as a solo effort. Between then and 2017, the Chapel Hill-based group evolved through several lineups and included along the way members of the dBs, Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, Steve Earle’s Dukes, the Wild Giraffes, and Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. TSE’s sound is often compared to the long tradition of bands who haven’t been afraid to mix loud guitars with pure pop melodic sense, à la Cheap Trick and Fountains of Wayne.
In 2012, the band released its critically acclaimed sophomore album, Between The Lines. Jack Rabid, writing in The Big Takeover, started his glowing review of the record with, “This is a no brainer!” David Menconi, in the Raleigh News & Observer, called Between the Lines “a super-catchy slab of Tarheel melodic goodness.”
Since that album’s successful release, The Stars Explode continued along a musical path full of killer hooks and radio-ready choruses, building an impressive original catalog in the process. During the summer of 2016, along with long-serving drummer and former Cleveland music scene veteran Jackson McGee, versatile lead guitarist Dewey McCafferty, and the ultra-suave Lance Westerlund on bass, Edmunds returned to the studio to commence work on TSE’s 3rd long player.
Released on November 10, 2017, Too Late to Save The World picked up where Between The Lines left off, with a tougher, harder edged vibe yet still overflowing with an unabashed pure pop sensibility. Featured tracks include Some Girls Pt. 2, a contemporary response to the Stones’ ’78 album cut; Untitled #1, a relentlessly catchy in-your-face rocker that addresses relationship frustration in big, bold strokes; and Matthew Sweet, which that artist found so flattering he penned his own song called Stars Explode for his 2021 Catspaw LP.