Founded in 2002 under the name Stay Fucked (from a line in Tropic of Cancer), STATS consists now of bassist/vocalist Tony Gedrich, guitarist Joe Petrucelli, and drummer/vocalist Hank Shteamer. This gang holds some heavyweight avant-rock credentials: Gedrich played in Extra Life and has collaborated with guitar phenom Mick Barr of Orthrelm and Krallice; Shteamer bashes things currently with Big A Little a and has lent his skills to Psalm Zero as well as projects with members of Dazzling Killmen and Craw. (Shteamer also holds the title of music editor at Time Out New York and has authored a book about Ween for the 33 1/3 series!)
STATS' upcoming debut full-length, Mercy, was recorded at Strange Weather in Brooklyn by former The Men guitarist Ben Greenberg and mastered by Khanate's James Plotkin (Thou, Merzbow). Stream new song "The Freeze, The Fritz," off Mercy, via BrooklynVegan, here.
In Shteamer's own words, STATS is "dedicated to rawness, intensity, complexity and abandon." Indeed. On Mercy, the trio applies the liberated mindset and musicianship of progressive rock to songs that are turbo-powered with the raw passion of hardcore. The end result is furious and perplexing music with all the heart of Rites of Spring and all the chops of King Crimson.
To slap on a label like "proggy post-hardcore" would be to oversimplify though. The members of STATS are voracious scholars of music and they cull inspiration from all over the map, from the progressive extremes of every given genre. STATS' punk is the edge of punk: Black Flag at its most twisted and contrarian. STATS' jazz is that of the rebels like Sonny Sharrock and Tony Williams. STATS' metal is ...And Justice for All, not Ride the Lightning.
Some modern-day reference points for this precarious sound might include Keelhaul, The Wayward, and Brooklyn brethren like Dysrhythmia with whom STATS has toured.
Of the lyrics on Mercy, Shteamer says this: "I'm making an attempt to process deep-seated fear and revulsion regarding elements of life that terrify me. The album title is a plea to these malevolent forces, human or otherwise. While Mercy is a cathartic album lyrically, it's intended as a kind of positive purging – much in the same way that the music, while harsh and complex, also embodies base rock n' roll pleasures."
Mercy follows 2010's Crowned EP, released on The Path Less Traveled Records, and 2009's Marooned EP.
The tracklist is as follows:
1) Human Butt
3) The Freeze, The Fritz
4) Line of Prime
5) List Serve
7) Dinner Alone
Tony Gedrich - bass, vocals
Joe Petrucelli - guitar
Hank Shteamer - drums, vocals
Photo by Jacqueline Silberbush