Stress

Stompbox

Columbia, 1994

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/12/2021

Talk about a major label feeding frenzy. After Nirvana and Pearl Jam broke, the majors were desperate to sign anything with heavy guitars. Case in point: Boston wannabe hardcore band Stompbox. They had only put out a few singles before Columbia swooped them up and put them in the studio to make their album. The disc got very little attention and within two years, the band had split up for good. This one album is a curiosity, but there’s still some decent stuff on it.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening track “No Woods” is a nice slice of punk with some killer vocals, but unfortunately, the rest of album doesn’t quite match up. “The Making Of Pump” is a nice slow burner with some good guitar, but you can’t help but feel that the band is joking too much.

You want some evidence about the band’s joking? Here’s some of the song titles: “Workin’ For Sony,” “Carry On My Wayward Son,” “Fool For The City,” “Chevy S-10.” Some of the material works, but one can’t help but wonder if people at the label weren’t in on the joke. After awhile, a lot of the material starts to sound samey. The first half of the disc is pretty good, but after the album’s instrumental break, “Esoteric Song,” things begin to nosedive.

By the time you get to “Fool For The City,” the lyrics become completely unintelligible and one has to wonder if this was done on purpose. They were trying to be hardcore without actually being it. They did come up in the Boston scene, but you never hear anyone from that time bring these guys up. So you have to wonder if it was a lot of posturing and trying to be cool like you really were hardcore.

This record really bombed, but it was through YouTube that I really grew to love “No Woods.” It’s definitely a forgettable album, but if you’re in too deep with obscure ‘90s nostalgia, then this is a great disc to have.

Rating: B-

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