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.