Stoor – Fleam

Though addictions are triggered early on they seem to put on truly inescapable nagging shackles over time but there is one for us which was immediate, thickly gripping and has just squeezed the life out of free will ever since and that is the new album from Scottish outfit Stoor. Admittedly the seeds had been sown and blossomed already for the Dundee quartet’s unique sound through their 2015 uncaged self-titled debut album but a craving Fleam has now escalated to all devouring heights. Like the last and first thought around sleep will be of a true if maybe unattainable love, right now our every musical urge starts and ends with Stoor.

It is hard to believe that Stoor is still not a band eagerly on the lips of thick waves of indie, rock, and post punk fans after their striking first full-length but surely a puzzle going to be solved through the aberrantly extraordinary Fleam. Again bred in a sound which has echoes and inspirations of seventies/eighties post punk and rawer new wave antics, Fleam has discovered a whole new level of virulence in the hooks, melodies, and imagination which made up its predecessor. It is a mischievously multi-flavoured experience though which leaves predictability and expectations barren on the kerbside of its compelling adventure.

Released through Stereogram Recordings who are ever reliable to bring fascinating proposals to the ears, Fleam opens with the appetite securing instrumental simply called Stoor Theme. As the album’s title represents, the band’s fresh sound strikes at the heart and cuts through the thick, wasteful but deceptive excesses which fatten the success and manipulate the common ear into providing undeserved attention and through the simple but incisive groove ‘n’ roll of its initial offering makes the first hook loaded score.

It is an imagination sparking, body twisting coaxing quickly matched in craft and temptation by successor, Pain. Instantly there is an air of sonic vexation from which a bold and boisterous stroll swings forth wrapped in the wiry enterprise of guitarists Ross Matheson and Davie Young whilst driven by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Scott McKinlay and bassist Stef Murray. The track was soon scooping up lusty attention and even more so as it twisted through a great and devilish pop infested post punk escapades within its undiluted rock ‘n’ roll. With Murray’s lead vocals just as magnetic and persuasive to participation, the track easily stole the passions.

It is a success soon shared across Fleam starting with the pair of Lovebombing and Dig. The first comes equipped with danger and threat as well as another dose of pure musical contagion that infests ears and instincts. Nurtured in punk ‘n’ roll ferocity and armed with a lyrical prowess which grips as effortlessly as the feral sounds surrounding it, the track simply enslaved before the second of the two sauntered in and exploded in a flame of melodic discord and eccentric invention. With a breath akin to The Nightingales in league with Television Personalities to it, the track burrowed under the skin laying bait and temptation which for just over two minutes feasted on any possible resistance to its esurient endeavour.

Ark follows, its opening lure loaded croon posted in a dusty mono background before eventually leaping through ears with Murray’s tones riding its undisturbed stride. Within, the primal edge to his bass is just as appetising but equally so are the strands of sonic thread igniting the senses courtesy of the rapaciously enterprising guitars; it all seemingly imposing greater temptation as the track’s volatility ignites and erupts in a predatory trespass.

Dancing around as the world crumbles, new single Atrocities is next and immediately has the body bouncing and imagination flirting with its XTC/ Orange Juice-esque celebration bred in a Fire Engines tuned jangle cast amidst the howl of windy discordance and apocalyptic corruptions. Haunting and rousing from its first sonic rattle, its uninhibited dust finally settles as the adventurous exploits of Agags Groove steps forth. As ever the persistently captivating and manipulative beats of McKinlay steer an inescapable quest for band and listener, the instrumental simply a web of intimation and temptation spanning past decades of flavouring woven into its own unique espionage.

McKinlay is even more a puppeteer within Founding Father, straight away directing body movement with provocative craft which soon invites guitars and bass to add their own similarly devious ideation and touch. Celestial melodies subsequently escape to expand the fascination and draw of another sublimely delicious moment within Fleam, the track as seductive as it is a cauldron of disquiet and dark suggestion before the following Unlike Them brings a declaration of defiance, anarchy and musical insurrection to bear on an apathetic landscape.

The album concludes with the incendiary magnificence of Chivers; a tapestry of rhythmic stalking, carnivorous basslines, and melodic friction united in irresistible incitement further loaded by thought grabbing vocals. Lure and challenge, a term which can be applied to the whole of the release, the song is unapologetic slavery and a glorious close to the album, its mercurial but always agitational and rousing body pure inspirational pleasure.

If Stoor had been there helping drive the Scottish post punk/postcard scene way back they would be cited as an inspiration for so many just as Orange Juice, The Fire Engines, and Josef K but do not confuse that suggestion with thoughts that the band is not one of music’s most fresh and exciting propositions right now and with releases like Fleam you can be sure they will be inspiring the creativity in numerous propositions to come.

Fleam is released on white and black vinyl, CD, and download via Stereogram Recordings March 30th across numerous online stores including https://stoor1.bandcamp.com/ with a special album launch show at Dundee’s Beat Generator Live! the release night.

https://www.facebook.com/stoormusic/   https://twitter.com/STOOR44   http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/stoor/

Pete RingMaster 26/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stoor – Self Titled

stoorJosef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines

No idea what is in the water over at Stereogram Recordings but this past twelve months has seen the label release a clutch of albums that simply ignite ears and connect with the imagination like no others. Amongst them have been encounters with bands such as St. Christopher Medal, The Filthy Tongues, and The Eastern Swell. Now adding to that adventurous collection of treats is the self-titled debut album from Dundee based outfit Stoor, a release which just might be the most impressive and ridiculously addictive of the lot.

The Stereogram Recordings offering is actually a full re-release of the band’s first album which was self-released on vinyl last year but sure to be the first real engagement for a great many with a quartet which rose up back in the first breaths of the nineties. Musically Stoor seem to embrace post punk/new wave sounds found in the couple of decades before their emergence, and though it is bordering on impossible to pin down their sound imagine Josef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines and the warped imagination of Pere Ubu in close attendance.

Centred around the off kilter invention of bassist/vocalist Stef Murray, drummer Scott McKinlay, and guitarist Ross Matheson with guitarist Davie Youngblood completing the current line-up, Stoor get straight into ears and psyche with album opener Secret World Of Cement. It is an instrumental which gets right into our already existing passion for post punk devilry, sparking the imagination with its cinematic urban soundscape. Hips and feet are swiftly indulging in its virulent Fire Engines hued strains as hooks and melodies tease and tantalise within something wonderfully akin to the most addictive sixties TV theme tunes.

It is a wonderful start quickly matched up by Liberator, a track just as rapid in its persuasion as spicy lures of guitar link up with the tenacious rhythmic bait laid down by McKinlay. The vocal tones of Murray attract like a mix of Jello Biafra and Pere Ubu’s Dave Thomas, expelling their earnest cries from within another seriously catchy stretch of invention before the brilliant Aye, No raises the ante. A fiercely seductive bass line invades first, strolling from the initial clash of sound to be quickly joined by equally salacious guitar hooks following the same route as Murray’s grooving. Like a pied piper the union draws the listener into an explosive crescendo, riffs and rhythms colliding before the temptation begins all over again with even greater strands of delicious discord involved. All the time Murray places a potent vocal grip on an already eager appetite, backed by the band within what is one gloriously repetitive and enthralling swagger of a song.

art_RingMasterReviewInfect Me steps forward next to keep the enslaving of ears tight, its Gang Of Four like rhythmic escapade chaining attention alone, the brooding basslines and stabs of guitar extra chains to trap attention and ardour. Bursts of raw rock ‘n’ roll only adds to the magnetism as too the distinctive and increasingly flavoursome vocals of Murray, here finding a Stan Ridgway flavour to his excellent theatre of voice. Between them Murray and McKinlay rhythmically have the passions chained up like Houdini, though no escape is possible especially as Matheson and Youngblood create a web of melodic intrigue and deranged drama.

Through the heavier almost muggy escape of Devil Rides Out, a song with a touch of Scars meets again Pere Ubu to it, and the pulsating psych rock infested instrumental of March Of The Molluscs, the album adds further diversity and creative theatre to escalate an already established habituation to its additive prowess, backing their success up with the punk rock of Frack where thoughts of bands like Swell Maps and television Personalities are sparked, though, as constantly across the release, Stoor conjure up proposals unique to their own senses entangling invention.

The calmer saunter of Open The Box comes next, its character a more stable affair but prone to Devo-esque twists and turns before making way to allow the psychedelically spiced Hold That Thought to serenade ears. To its warmer and gentler nature though, there is an underlying tempestuousness which channels its energy into a swinging post punk canter a la The Three Johns.

The bands new single Witchfinder General has ears and lust over excited next, its rhythmic romp alone an unshakeable grip with Murray’s bass swing a predacious seduction reinforced by the tangy weave of guitar and the eager dance of the vocals. Dark and mischievous, compelling and shadowy, the track is superb, a certain doorway into the album come its release though fair to say any track is a suitable invitation.

Going out as it came in with a mouth-watering, imagination stoking instrumental going by the name of Sure Beats Me, a piece which plays like B-52s engaged in carnal knowledge with The Shadows, the album leaves only an urgent urge to dive right back into its body of fun.

Stoor may have been around for a fair few years now but this is the moment they should be enveloped by the biggest spotlights, courtesy of an encounter which has to be considered as an album of the year contender.

Stoor the album is released October 28th on Stereogram Recordings digitally and on CD with the single Witchfinder General out on October 21st.

STOOR are supporting Brix Smith & The Extricated on Sunday 30th October 2016 and The Membranes on Friday 27th January 2017, both nights at Beat Generator in Dundee.

https://www.facebook.com/stoormusic/   http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/stoor/

Pete RingMaster 19/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright