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Stimulator Records

Listening to the Stimulator album, I can't help feeling that I have been here before. Stimulator does a very good job emulating Garbage, to such a degree that it hardly seems worthwhile in the long run. Their differentiation is exactly nil, and while the songs are catchy (like Garbage) and set a good beat (like Garbage) they lack a certain presence that Garbage does have. (Maybe why Garbage was so successful at it could be attributed to their band members, their non-singing band members that is, who just bleed music like any good producer would.)

Now I love this style of music, so I am not purposely ragging on this band without a reason; they have so much potential but lose it over the course of the album. I personally feel that they don't know to which market they should be aiming. They could easily go one of two different directions: harder with street credibility, or softer to a more stable audience. This becomes blatantly obvious when judging the give and take of the album in its entirety. The songs range from a hesitant (but effective) racy, to a downright milquetoast, watered-down for the masses, pop-song.

Moreover, the confusion is justified after looking at their press release. You can see them playing in the Warped Tour (the heavy side) and appearing on the Ella Enchanted soundtrack for their track "Magic" (the lighter side). Is it just me, or does this mixture of accomplishments sound counter-productive? I am all for breaking through status-quo descriptional bonds, but I don't know many parents that will be impressed with buying their kids a band who uses lyrics like "Guess there was another ass I forgot to kiss and "I wanna do things to you." On the other side of the fence I can't imagine a hardcore aficionado having much respect for a band that appears on a classically defined bubble-gum soundtrack with the likes of Disney-friendly Raven. Can you catch my drift here?

If they were waiting for the correct moment to choose which way to go, the time is now. They have already done enough damage so far, now they just need to focus... and deny their past, once confronted with it down the road. Hey, all bands need money and exposure; just don't continue down that road anymore, please, for the love of all that is holy, just don't. And if I were there to influence this band, I would shove them down the road to explore their heavier side. That's right, choose the dark side, be the dark side. There is so much potential it kills me, if they could experiment with the sound they could surpass everyone they set to emulate. They have all of the basic building blocks (i.e. beat, sound quality, and style) they just need to take it to the nth degree, and who knows, they might find something special there.

So if you don't have enough Garbage albums, go out and buy this one and you won't be disappointed. If you want something more than Garbage, hope they take my advice and they create something a little more lasting the next time. They could do it, I believe in them. Go dark side.


Track Listing:

1. 78 Stimulator
2. Feelin' Alright
3. Let's Hook Up
4. How Far Would You Go? (Die For Me)
5. On Top Of The World
6. New Vampire
7. In My System
8. Magic
9. Complicated Girl
10. Just Like A Girl
11. My Beautiful Muse

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