Stick Against Stone: The Oregon Bootleg Tapes

[16 June 2014]

By John Paul

From the onset, Stick Against Stones comes across as a less aggressive James Chance and the Contortions, with bleating sax work, clipped vocals from frontwoman Sari Morninghawk, and intricately funky and casually complex work from the rhythm section. Further in, additional influences begin to peak through, ranging from ska to funk to jazz to just about anything else they could lay their hands on.

But like so many groups of the post-punk ilk, Stick Against Stone tends to suffer from too many ideas, leaving their songs feeling more improvisational and scattered in nature, despite clear efforts at structured, considered composition. By no means a bad thing, it simply tends to bog down the proceedings in a certain same-ness that, while enjoyable in the moment, much as one would assume the VHS-taped live performance from which this audio was sourced had been, tends to fade with time, leaving little beyond a vague impression of having been enjoyable in the moment.

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