Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The READY STANCE: "Damndest"

Rating: RR
Label: Damndest Rec. 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

It's probably my fault... but I can't agree with the press-release regarding sound and influences of The Ready Stance. Guitarist Wes Pence met lead vocalist and guitarist Chase Johnston in Athens, Georgia, US of A, and an animated conversation between the two revealed an uncannily simpatico musical vision and still more shared touchstones: Big Star, Television, VU, The Band. Well, it's obviously their influences, but that's not necessarily the same thing as their sound. Me thinks they're more of the Prefab Sprout, Squeeze, 80's R.E.M. and any wacky alternative U.K. rock act of today.

Quite the storytellers and expect to find lyric of various strange topics such as, "Steamship Moselle", the calliope-infused account of an 1838 maritime explosion that ends with an ill-fated minister found clutching a dry Bible? "Marathon", an amusing local Ohio legend concerning a confused fistfight between a speech-impaired gas station attendant and a customer with a similar affliction. While, "Real America", is the poetic look at divisive politics and pundits who claim to represent the 'Real America'. I guess their lyrics simply express what this band believes alt rock should be trying to deal with? The slightly wacky, 'out there' material.

To be frank, the lyrical content - their strongest point and it's nice to hear something different from the usual rubbish written by white blokes on dope. I'm not entirely convinced by the actual songs though. "Smiley" sees the band tightening up their material as they're delivering shortened, more compact rock. The Ready Stance may not be as familiar name as their influences, but "Damndest" proves them to be the decent rock band from America with a penchant for the U.K. sound. Hardly originals though and there's plenty of "decent" acts out there. Bigger and better things to come?

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