Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sticks and Stones on Trouble in Mind Records

Trouble in Mind hooked me up with some digital files of their latest 4 pack offering of 7" singles. They just keep pumping these out and from bands like Sticks N Stones, who I really need to hear, obviously.

This is pure punk pop, reminding me of Cheap Time, it has an insane polish with dual guy/girl vocals from Paul and Natalie, and it takes the super macho edge off the usual kind of garage sneer. I want to party and jump around, not slice wrists.
It's recorded with a pretty harsh treble edge, even the bass is missing a real low end, it places this even more in a sort of '70s era AM classic rock. Completely at a breakneck speed, there's no place in either of these sides for any kind of pause, it's verse, verse, change key, chorus, back down, repeat at least ten times. They sound like literally pushing that envelope of speed and power changes, all staying together...thanks to having played in a bunch of prior bands I'm sure.

I love that this sound is coming out of Milwaukee too, it's sort of the last place I would think of. I picture Milwaukee as a sort of Midwest version of Pittsburgh, trying to figure out what to do with itself after the industry has all left town. Just holding on to it's colleges and warehouses...so of course a scene like this would spring out of the reinvention. Sticks N Stones are out there geographically making some damn good lemonade out of the couple of lemons left. I'm painting a bleak picture, but it would make sense to have a beacon of almost bubblegum punk rise out of the wreckage.

Just one of the latest singles from Trouble in Mind...it's far from over:

This follow up to their debut single on Dusty Medical picks up where that hot slab o' wax leaves off - hitting you square in the gut with two stabs of sharp pop perfection! A veritable Milwaukee "super-group' of sorts featuring Paul Kalfahs and Jon Heibler from Catholic Boys, & Natalie Clark from the Tears (and all three from the Tuff Bananas!), Sticks N Stones keeps it lean & mean, slicing off riffs from 70's & 80's Power Pop (and a nick or two from classic 60's bubblegum) with rapid-fire intensity calling to mind such great Midwestern bands as Cheap Trick, Shoes, & the Kind. "Is It You" is a spastic spark of self-examination & "Telling The Truth" is a pounding plea for the listener's trust - it ain't no lie!
The single comes housed in the Trouble In Mind factory sleeve, & first press comes on randomly mixed colored vinyl, & includes a download code!

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