CDs: Linden Calling
I recently went deep into my old CD collection and pulled out some vintage power-pop-punk goodness like Big Drill Car, The Doughboys and Overwhelming Colorfast. I’m so happy I did, you can’t help but feel good — invigorated, I dare say — after listening to these bands. Ahhhh… musical memories… of delicious, fleeting youth…
Songs like BDC’s “Let Me Walk”, OC’s “Everyday Saturday” and absolutely everything off The Doughboys’ “Whatever” are crunching blasts of pure melody and emotion. These tunes and the overall Cali punk vibe from that era still hold up strong and this made me wonder if anyone is still making this kind of music?
Sure “power pop” is back but most is way too refined and saccharine, and there’s a tad too much of the Brit pop variety. I need me some monster Mould-like waves of distortion, insanely tight drumming and a bit of self-deprecation to temper the sweetness of all the “la la las” and girl trouble topics.
While contemplating my needs, I was more than surprised and excited to find out about Hoboken’s own Stuyvesant. After one listen to the song “Victorian Lawns” I was hooked. Completely. “Party on my lawn?” Why yes, let’s!
Thanks to our pal Dave Hill of Valley Lodge who turned me on to the band in one of his hysterical emails. Stuyvesant will be sharing the bill with the Lodgers at The Mercury Lounge in NYC this Wednesday on October 8th.
While Stuyvesant evokes the aforementioned bands, their sound is fuller with big, layered vocals and many unexpected musical diversions from the pop rock norm (killer harmony break in “Hang Five”). Almost all the songs on “Linden Calling” build to an impressive emotional outburst like on “Tape Hiss,” a song that could be a massive hit if commercial radio actually played anything resembling good music.
Stuyvesant puts legit power in their pop and can rock out with the best of them (“Yahweh from Rahway”). When I hear a song like “Liars Poker” I can’t help but be reminded of the old and underrated 80s band The Producers (based on the palpable high energy, not the outfits). “I Repent At Stuyvesant” and “Hang Five” have the nice gravelly edge of Armchair Martian and “Forgotten Two” evokes Ted Leo at his hyper-melodic best. “Bullshit Away” is rollicking little ditty that puts a “let’s slow it down and take a breath” capper on a extremely fun and rewarding record.
So if you’re like me and need a change of pace from the predominant and precious, skinny-guy-with-the-big-beard low-fi music that’s all the rage in the blogosphere, Stuyvesant should do the trick.