Friday, July 31, 2015

STERN + PopMatters

"Stern has created a surreal hybrid of gothic rock, DC post-hardcore, progressive rock, and post-metal, with a strong Faith No More influence tossed in, and the end result is the extraordinary new album, Bone Turquoise. If you want a good indication of how surreal and enthralling it is, you can't do much better than 'Your Level Best,' a weirdly gloomy track that slogs along like a dirge sung by a lunatic."
–PopMatters

"The strange, aqueous nature of the music that Stern offers on its new record becomes a lot less unexpected when you realize that the band includes Toby Driver the scary genius behind Maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot... The album is full of pop-like tunes, all hip-checked sideways and left to melt in the summer sun."
–Decibel

"Stern draw on everything from avant-garde metal to film scores in forging their self-described 'alien pop' sound... Off-kilter structure and shifting rhythms could fit right into Kayo Dot's 2014 darkwave exploration, Coffins on Io."
–Invisible Oranges

With Stern's debut album Bone Turquoise coming up next Friday, August 7th, on New Atlantis Records, one more of the album's gems has been premiered for your pleasure: stream "Your Level Best," off Bone Turquoise, exclusively on PopMatters, here.

In the words of PopMatters music editor Adrien Begrand: "Stern has created a surreal hybrid of gothic rock, DC post-hardcore, progressive rock, and post-metal, with a strong Faith No More influence tossed in, and the end result is the extraordinary new album, Bone Turquoise. If you want a good indication of how surreal and enthralling it is, you can't do much better than 'Your Level Best,' a weirdly gloomy track that slogs along like a dirge sung by a lunatic."

Named for founder and frontman Chuck Stern (ex-Time of Orchids), Stern also features Kayo Dot members Toby Driver and Keith Abrams, along with longtime Kayo Dot and Candiria collaborator Tim Byrnes.

Stern's icy, unsettling "alien pop" nods to the unhinged crooning of Mike Patton and Shudder to Think's Craig Wedren, as well as the film scores of Ennio Morricone. In talking to PopMatters about "Your Level Best," Chuck Stern references Charlotte Brontë and Unwound.

Pre-order the album, recorded and mixed at Strange Weather Studio (Liturgy, DIIV, The Men), here.

Stern, live:
Aug 29 - New York, NY @ The Stone w/ Kayo Dot