Music

Stick Against Stone - "Grace" (audio) (premiere)

The cult faves have finished their debut album, which has been only 30 years in the making.

A year ago The Oregon Bootleg Tapes -- Live, by Eugene, Oregon cult favorites Stick Against Stone turned many critics' heads with its at times astonishing mix of taut punk rock and loose, groovy funk. Active throughout the 1980s, the band never made a proper full-length album despite their growing audience, but thanks to their old sound man (and MediaGroove founder) Will Kreth existing live tapes were dusted off an polished to make a universally acclaimed record.

Since then, the wheels have been turning among the surviving members of Stick Against Stone, and now they have at long last finished their debut album, which has been 30 years in the making. Instant which comes out on 5 November, the band, fronted by singer Sari Morninghawk, reworked their old tracks and have created a piece of music that feels just as vibrant and relevant as it would have felt 30 years ago. The taut, energetic "Grace" is a fine example.

“Grace” came together over a typically long, wet Oregon winter of 1984/1985 - a product of the bands' 5 to 6 day a week rehearsals in a dirt-floor basement practice space in West Eugene," Kreth tells PopMatters. "Lyrically, some of those bleak Northwest grey skies may have seeped into the feeling of the song. The interplay of Daniel Ramirez’s bell-like guitar harmonics and bassist/lyricist David Soule’s syncopated punk-funk lines provide a solid foundation for singer Sari Jozokos Morninghawk’s soaring vocals that push the oblique lyrics and singular melody forward. The fact that the recording of this version started in 2007 and wasn’t finished in 2015 fits perfectly into the moody, dreams-deferred vibe. Still, it’s clearly a product of that early-‘80s time when post-punk, funk and art rock (think Peter Gabriel, Adrian Belew-era King Crimson, Gang Of Four, A Certain Ratio) rubbed shoulders in the studio and sometimes on the dance floor."

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