Stobo – S/T

Stobo – S/T / 2007 Fork Tongue / 12 Tracks / /

Stobo starts off this album with a smoking introduction. The band is smart when it comes to the creation of a certain tension hat will have individuals clamoring for some sort of release. This release comes with an intense blend of guitars and drums, while keeping the vocals out of the equation. The banfd has more than enough talent when it comes to crafting a song sans vocals that they could conceivably cut out that part of the act. “It’s Love (In The Higher Sense)” is slightly disappointing when it comes to what the band comes out with after their introduction. Sure, the country-influenced sound that the band comes out with has a strong tradition, as the act plays on the works of bands like the Outlaws and Stevie Ray Vaughan, but the magic that the band crafted during this first track will be hard to recapture. “What You Can See Can Become” shows that Stobo really really loves their Soul Asylum. It is again the vocals that represent the weak part of the band.

The production of this track suffers because of the vocals, being placed at a level that is much louder than the rest of the instrumentation. The slight distortion present on the vocals masks what is another strong set of guitar and drum lines. “Long, Black Train” shows that Stobo can come forth with some distinct, different sounding track than what has previously been heard on the disc. There are hints of blues and funk present on this track that will get indiivudals focused in on the band. However, it still seems to be the case that the vocals represent the one thing that holds back the band from completely succeeding on this album.

When the act is able to work together as a cohesive musical unit, the results are amazing. It is only when the vocals come in that the music become subjugated to what the vocals wish to do, and as a result, the quality of the music suffers. The intensity of the vocals should never be put into question, but it feels like the music should be allowed to shine on its own. Stobo could make a killer, put your headphones on and zone out type of album if the act re-recorded the tracks on the disc without the vocal accompaniment. If the act could do something like that for their next recording, I believe that their dreams will come true. With the vocals, they still are a strong act, but they are not one that individuals should go out of their way to see.

Top Track: Uhlive, Cosmic 45

Rating: 4.5/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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