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Stare Into The Sun
Nocturnal
(self-released)
www.stareintothesun.net


Listening to this I get a nostalgic feeling, like I am listening to Public Image Ltd., that precursor to art noise by one of the premier anti-establishment artists. Part of that feeling is derived from the fact you feel like you are listening to someone's personal vendetta against the world and secondarily music.

What makes it work is that, like PIL, Stare Into The Sun is good, and as long as they rant like this I would be happy to listen to them go all day. For a three-piece they successfully overcome the odds to make their songs sound different and interesting. Guitar lines drive the material with a specific simplicity that you wish more bands would use. Voice is the closest thing to monotonous, but veers nicely through intensity and lucidity to save it in the end. The drums try hard to maintain a semblance of a structure and work and then at different times do not.

Part of that may be due to the lack of production. While not at the garage band level, the recording captures a lot of the guitars (both bass and rhythm) but lacks on the vocals, drums and occasional keyboards. A little outside help directing the drums through the melee would benefit the overall performance of the band. Unfortunately any mistake in a three-piece is just amplified by the lack of participants.

While I dote on the production, I can't focus enough on how good the album actually is. It is solid and has a sound you don't come across too often, and for that alone it will be in my play list for many a year to come.

-bishop

Track listing:
1) Run
2) Tollman
3) Black Dress
4) Nocturnal
5) Without A Trace
6) Seeing Things
7) We Were Here First
8) Wake Me When It's Over
9) What You Think


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Mike Doughty



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