# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


  by John Clarkson

published: 22 / 12 / 2016

Label: Stereogram Recordings
Format: CD


Unusual but distinctive debut album from elusive Dundee-based alternative rock outfit, STOOR

STOOR have existed since the 1990s but have until recently remained deliberately elusive. There was for years no website or Facebook page. Gigs have been a rarity, with at one point a four year gap between shows, and while there have been two previous singles one of these was pressed but never released. The Dundee alternative rock act self-released their eponymous debut album on vinyl last year, and it has now been picked up for re-release by the rising Edinburgh-based label Stereogram Recordings. Their music on it convincingly combines the hard, taut rock of British bands such as Cream with the angularity and avant-garde of American new wave acts like Pere Ubu and Devo. Three of the eleven tracks – ringing, discordant opener ‘Secret World of Cement’; the sturdy, military-like ‘March of the Molluscs’ and stormy closing number ‘Sure Beats Me’ – are instrumentals. On initial first impressions one might as a result ask why STOOR are on such a label as Stereogram in which all its other acts have a strong lyrical focus (The Cathode Ray, the Band of Holy Joy, Roy Moller, the Eastern Swell and St. Christopher Medal). The lyrics are, however, very much a presence with STOOR also, although admittingly more angular, and, like label owner Jeremy Thoms’ band the Cathode Ray, they share a similar fascination with the way in which the world often appears to be and the way in which it in reality is. The crisp, thunderous ‘Aye,No’ is a clever play on words. “Aye, no/A man who walked on the moon/Aye, no/A girl who could bend spoons/Aye, no/A boy who could turn inside out,” howls singer Stef Murray frantically. ‘Infect Me’ is even more urgent, the guitars of Ross Mathieson and Davie Youngblood, bassist Murray and drums of Scott Mckinlay nerve-shredded and angst-ridden. “Infect me/Infect me/Infect me with your lies,” sings Murray breathlessly in the chorus. The whiplash, sinister recent single ‘Witchfinder General’ meanwhile warns us of the dangers of false idols and post-Brexit, post the American election seems grimly prophetic (“Brothers and sisters gather/ To meet the latest hazard/ Hear the word”). STOOR have an unusual and distinctive sound and take on the world. Hopefully this reissue will pull them more out of the shadows.

Track Listing:-
1 Secret World Of Cement
2 Liberator
3 Aye,No
4 Infect Me
5 Devil Rides Out
6 March Of The Molluscs
7 Frack
8 Open The Box
9 Hold That Thought
10 Witchfinder General
11 Sure Beats Me

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