Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stag - Don't Lead With Your Heart - on Fin Records

This Stag single came in from Fin Records out of Seattle, who make it clear with singles like theses, they're about releasing material they are completely behind, for no other reason then they appreciate these artists and want to get their material out there into the world. It's what every seven inch label I track down and buy singles from is doing on some level, but Fin goes to pretty nuts lengths in the package details, hence the $10 pricetag. But down to the pink inner sleeve, they're going after those insane electric pink shades inspired by the sleeve graphic, even embossing the mylar sleeve with a "Fin" notary stamp. The vinyl itself is a pretty unique lavender color I haven't seen anywhere either...almost purple, with a lot of white tint.

The shades of pink throughout the 7" is really appropriate to this heavily produced, traditional power rock 5 piece. It can't be anything but an optimistic statement, and they seem to have a pretty positive spin on everything, even if the lyrics might be hinting at something else. In "Don't lead with your heart", for example, even though it's a sort of hindsight advice to the events that transpired, it's pretty straightforward catchy guitar pop track. Steve's vocals can't be anything but pretty and you know this character is going to be alright. Things didn't work out between them, but no one is in jail. They probably still get together for coffee...but not in a sad depressing way.

"Ides of March on the B-Side, takes this power classic rock formula and adds a horn section from the first measures. Slowly building into the electric distortion. I actually thought I was hearing some kind of synth at first but it setting up this huge windmill chord section and it sounds like something right out of Tommy. The same epic rock musical storytelling that changes subtly again into a late '90s big alternative sound, like Soul Asylum, or the Lemonheads. Back when rock was trying to take back something sincere from the hair metal, the theatrics, the artificiality, but still keeping that structure, the power rock, the big clean sound. So it makes sense when you see this band is made up of members of That Petrol Emotion and Alcohol Funnycar, among others. There's a long history here of creating that alternative, and this single is no exception.

Get this one from Fin Records who says:
The five members of Stag are seasoned musicians, who have spent years on the Seattle club scene, but managed to become veterans without letting cynicism overtake them. These are people playing together because they enjoy it, and for little other reason. Singer Steve Mack was also the lead vocalist of That Petrol Emotion, a highly praised UK band from the eighties. Ben London played guitar and sang with Alcohol Funnycar, Sanford Arms, and Burning Rivers, and does the same in Stag, in addition to writing all the songs. Bass player Pete Everett broke his teeth with Tuffy, before joining Seattle’s the Mellors. Drummer Rob Dent has played with Jackie on Acid, Kingsly, and Sanford Arms. Guitarist Lincoln Barr is the singer/songwriter behind Red Jacket Mine.

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