Stompbox "Stress" CDPosted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2005 @ 10:13am » permalink
For some reason it's pretty damn hard to dig up much information on this defunct Boston band. Formed in 1991, they released a set of recordings called "Travis" a year later (I've seen this referred to as both a demo and an EP, I don't know the deal there), and their sole full-length, "Stress", dropped in 1994 on Columbia Records. Within a couple of years or so, vocalist Eric Thaler quit the band and the remaining trio allegedly changed their name to Slower. Members have since gone on to perform with Milligram, Placer, Chevy Heston, Juliana Hatfield (Huh?), and even… the Blue Man Group!? Go figure.
I just can't figure out why this record never caught on at least a little more, either. It was heavily promoted at the time – you couldn't go to any damn record store without getting loads of Stompbox sampler tapes/CD's, stickers, etc. And hell, it sounds pretty much exactly like Helmet at their peak, just with more of a rock 'n' roll flare – thanks in large part to the uniquely gruff vocals. Do the math: A lot of Helmet, a little grunge, the mid-90's… what was the problem? I don't know. Helmet had blown up two years prior, so maybe Stompbox just missed the boat on the whole super staccato rhythm thing. Fuck that, though. These songs are totally solid and the production on this fucker is pristine: Perfect for that ringing sort of textbook post-hardcore dissonance, not to mention a killer bass presence.
As with many other wrongfully shit upon records relegated to major label wastebaskets, "Stress" is one of the cheapest used CD's in the history of mankind, and has been for quite some time now. If you can't find this disc for significantly less than $5, you're not looking very hard. I don't know what the fuck would possess someone to sell a CD for a measly .31 cents, but… you know my mantra: People are stupid. So eat up, boys and girls: