Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Stabs - Dead Wood

The Stabs
Dead Wood

I’m sure there are complex and interesting reasons why Australian musicians are so goddamn good at blending rootsy rock & roll with dissonant noise, but I don’t know what they are and I’m not feeling up to writing a book about the subject. (Yet.) I’m always up for that particular band of clang, though, so I’m already pre-disposed to like the Stabs. Dead Wood, the Melbourne trio’s second album, hews closer to the more accessible side of the style, like contemporaries the Drones or Kill Devil Hills instead of old dogs like Feedtime or the Birthday Party, but it’s definitely still in the tradition. On No Hoper, Blues in F# and Ain’t That the News, mutant blues grooves hold hands with honky-tonk skronk, while frostbitten decadence flirts unselfconsciously with seething rage. The Stabs are a well-named outfit; as their best, they approximate the strangely sensual discomfort of a keen dagger inserting into your flesh - acutely painful at first but strangely satisfying once the blade slides home. Dead Wood is a model of ugly beauty.

- Michael Toland

1 comment:

A funny life we lead said...

Finding a good Record Label can be hard work. Im glad this band seems to be doing well!

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