Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: Stretford End “Letters On Sunspots: Siderevs Nvncivs” [EP]

Yeah, my spellchecker went nuts with that album title. But it’s not every day you encounter a record inspired by Galileo and the series of papers he wrote on sunspots. The tragic story of how the Church repressed Galileo and his research to maintain control over the populace encouraged the California band Stretford End to write about the quest for truth. “Letters On Sunspots: Siderevs Nvncivs” is volume one in a series of what will amount to three EPs.

Stretford End formed in 2009, consisting of Alexander Millar on vocals, Joey Jane on bass, and Prentice Daggs on drums. I’m assuming someone plays the guitars – which are front and center - but it wasn’t listed in the information given to me. Leading off we have the lengthy “Drift”, which tries to create an epic atmosphere appropriate to the depth of the lyrical content throughout this EP. It is a mixed success…not bad, but a bit overreaching at this stage in the band’s development. The first single is “The Fates” (video below). Produced by Gus Cryns (The Academy Is, Panic! At The Disco, Foxy Shazam), “The Fates” is a slick slice of modern rock, although it seems to take itself too seriously. The heavy guitars proceed in slow motion, successfully creating a haunting environment. The result is more of a mood piece than a radio ready single. In my opinion, the energetic “Carry On” is the band’s comfort zone and would have been a better choice. The ballad “You’ll Never Know”, a duet with Nikki Simmons, is well done and reminds me of Taking Back Sunday. The EP closes with a great melodic tune in “The Believers”, underscoring the promise Stretford End has as a new force in modern rock.

You should point your musical telescope to “Letters On Sunspots: Siderevs Nvncivs” if you like the post-punk bands that dominated the rock scene the past decade, such as Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. While this genre seems to be fading out, maybe Stretford End will be able to breathe new life into it.

Stretford Endofficial site.

Check out the video for “The Fates”