From The Sticks
Humour over email… It’s always difficult to pull off, as our slightly confusing exhanges with From The Sticks will testify to. Hailing from the Fens, they opened with a line about having “only just got electricity” which worked well enough, it was the next one regarding the fact that they “made some instruments out of stuff lying around the house” that led to aformentioned confusion…
Upon listening to their music, it’s pretty evident that they’re not playing graters and elastic bands but have instead done a fine job of making innately catchy music (with a DIY feel) using the rather more standard combination of guitar, drum and voice. Truth be told though their humour was refreshing and clearly carries through into their music, the falsetto chant of “Watch Me” serving as best evidence to that. These guys have only been together for a few months and again there’s a jovial exuberance and freshness evident in their performance that saves their music from descending into the cliched sound that it otherwise could have.
There’s no EP as such to talk of yet but instead a number of free, if oddly formatted, downloads available from their facebook page HERE, grab ‘em while you can/below.”Grow” seems an appropriate place to start, although I’m going to avoid the obvious pun about how the music gets better with every listen, as truth be told it’s challenging not to be hooked from the off with this. High energy riffs, off kilter vocals bouncing atop an infectious beat, the collective chant of the chorus’ and a woozy breakdown, this is just good clean fun. “That Girl In The Red Dress” is more of the fun and less of the clean, “take off her top and take off her pants now”, lyrics that do perhaps suggest that Steinbeck wasn’t neccesarily the inspiration for the title, or maybe he was and I’m just missing the irony in the music, it’s a bit like humour in emails at times…
The change in tempo from “Grow” to “Girl In The Red Dress” ensures that the familiar combination of chanted chorus and pick-me-up vocals doesn’t get tiresome. “Mr Wolf” sees tempo slowed further and a more acoustic sound sought, all of which lends more focus to the poignant lyrical tale. Although the vocal timbre possibly doesn’t lend itself to downdrodden melancholy quite as well as it does the jocund larking of “Just Pride”. Another slow burner but one through which an awful lot of character manages to shine, the endearing DIY feel of From The Sticks probably at it’s most powerful on this occasion. “Watch Me” has a funkier feel and a return to the driven buzz of the early tracks and as such is an emminently enjoyable note on which to finish, prior mentioned falsetto chant encapturing the care-free fun that From The Sticks stand for. Have a listen/download below and, with the guys having been in the studio recently, hope that there’s more to come, and rest safe in the knowledge that if there is, you’ll find it here.
From The Sticks – Grow [right-click to download]
From The Sticks – That Girl In The Red Dress [right-click to download]
From The Sticks – Mr Wolf [right-click to download]
From The Sticks – Just Pride [right-click to download]
From The Sticks – Watch We [right-click to download]