Stella, Wake Up! – The Shark And The Ghost EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: Summer 2007
On those nights we stay up too late or those days spent in relative solitude, we need music. Whether it transfers inspiration, energy or a simple distraction, we need music. Notice I didn’t say “want” or “crave”, I said need. In this context, that word is both uplifting and pessimistic. When you think about music in such a strong way, the tunes you pick for any moment must do more than satisfy. A lot of times, they don’t. Stella, Wake Up!, though, keep us (me!) alive and alert.
Overly lonesome introductions aside, Stella, Wake Up! are a promising young group. A hodgepodge of genres and influences, from classic rock to progressive to post-hardcore, makes The Shark And The Ghost quite intriguing. While most early EP’s are meant to test the waters of fan attraction and seek refinement, Stella, Wake Up! seem to have everything figured out. But there is no order to be found here, no controlled chaos. The Shark And The Ghost doesn’t simply melt faces. It melts brains.
The lead-in of the title track only hints at the mayhem. Pounding drums escalate into Ian McGinty’s throaty and squeamish voice, while his high-pitched delivery is aided and abetted by the nutty guitars of Ryan Walsh. The sound never feels unfocused, sort of like the dude incorrectly encased in a straight jacket. Give him enough time and he’ll talk his way out. Or, in this case, rock his way out (that sentence was a new low for me).
“The Arsonist” might seem a bit subdued compared to tracks like metal-ish opener “Time Travel Therapy,” but its math rock vibe and melodic gang chorus are treats. Stella, Wake Up! never flee from their musical forefathers, but they feature enough creative additions (angsty vocals, tempo changes, ballz) to make their sound fresh.
As this is a review for an unsigned band, you know what I’m going to say next. My call to the industry at large is such a bad pun of this band’s name that I dare not speak it for fear that I might dissolve into a black hole of my own bad and clichéd writing. Aw heck. Wake up, people!
Look what you made me do.
Recommended If You Like: Glassjaw, Small Leaks Sink Ships, Cuckoo’s nests, Envy On The Coast, Hugo Reyes
I love this band. I agreet that they have a old school feel and that is what I think sets them apart from other bands on the rise. My dad even likes this band... that is rare for him to like the same band as me