Stern - "Your Level Best" (audio) (premiere)

by Adrien Begrand

31 July 2015

Call it what you will, but the Brooklyn band has created one surreal, dark record.
Photo by
Caroline Harrison 

The band might be led by its namesake, Brooklyn musician Chuck Stern, but anyone familiar with the underground/experimental/heavy music coming from the borough will see Stern as a supergroup. Partnering with Keith Abrams of Kayo Dot, Toby Driver of Kayo Dot and Vaura, and kayo Dot/Candiria collaborator Tim Byrnes, Stern has created a surreal hybrid of gothic rock, DC post-hardcore, progressive rock, and post-metal, with a strong Faith No More influence tossed in, and the end result is the extraordinary new album Bone Turquoise. If you want a good indication of how surreal and enthralling it is, you can’t do much better than “Your Level Best”, a weirdly gloomy track that slogs along like a dirge sung by a lunatic. Trust us on that one.
“‘Your Level Best’ is about doing your best in the face of adversity, while also being a commentary on adversity itself and its seemingly never-ending presence in our lives,” says Stern, who is clearly not a lunatic. “Escalating, repeating, ascending to heaven. Triumph in minutiae and defeat. That kind of thing. Also, I’ve always felt a “woman in the attic” vibe (from Jane Eyre) but I’m not sure how that plays into it. Musically, I think it’s our most post-hardcore ditty. Unwound is probably an influence on this one.”

If you want to hear all the ditties on Bone Turquoise, and why could you possibly not, pre-order it from the good folks at New Atlantis. It’ll be released 7 August.


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