There’s something remarkable about the self-titled debut EP by Stalls, the indie-rock trio from Oakland. Maybe it’s the modern spin of 70s-era post-punk and glam rock, but in a way that’s accessible, catchy, yet without all the unnecessary bells and whistles. Maybe it’s the respect the band pays to that decade’s music, as it seems every detail – from each note, riff, and melody – could come from The Velvet Underground, Jesus and Mary Chain, or Edwyn Collins. Whatever it may be, the EP is excellent and offers a glimpse in the potential of the band.
The opener “Cola” excels with its driving guitar riffs as Stalls’ frontman Sam Weiss’ voice drones in the foreground. “Paradise” is a stellar, pop-rock track and the one that reflects Collins’ classic, “A Girl Like You”.
“Tooth and Nail” takes a different approach – a song that explodes right from the start and blazes for just under three minutes with the buzzing, fuzzy guitars. It’s more of a short, intense jam that reflects the punk songs of the ’70s. “Miasma of Love” slows things down, taking on the rhythm of a heart beat on this dark, moody thumper. “Cage”, the closer, is the one track that is slightly different. It pays homage to ’80s pop, specifically Simple Minds. It’s a song that will have Generation Xers recall the days of acid washed jeans, big hair, and pastels.
For their first effort, Stalls is a fantastic introduction into a young band with a great future. It shows the dedication made by the threesome, in particular Sam Weiss, who is the driving force behind the band. Originally from Massachusetts, Weiss moved to the Bay area in 2010, where he honed his skills and sound in one of the top indie cities in the US. Together with Nick Clark and Ray Seraphin, Weiss have close to perfecting a timeless sound for a new generation.
Purchase the EP at the Vacant Stare Records’ bandcamp site.
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