January 12, 2011
Stomacher, a band from the bay area of California, is quite possibly the closest lyrical relative to the journey through hell that is documented by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy. What Stomacher fails to hide underneath beautiful melody and vocal prowess is a tortured and haunting narrative that sticks with the listener long after the album ends. Days and weeks after my first listen of this album I found myself singing some incredibly dark lines to myself, all which were from Sentimental Education. The lyrics from the title track say more about this album than I ever could:
“Pour in the wine, loosen the fast
Gnawing your future, knowing your past
Push out the light, celebrate
Welcome the twilight, welcome your fate
Come wake all the world
Pour in the smoke, merriment
The longer the daylight, the longer we sing
Of magical alms, riders in black
Wondrous creatures all around
It feels like the end of the world”
Although I could probably write pages on the lyrics of this album alone, there’s quite a bit to say about the other facets to this album, as well. Time and time again, vocalist Jarrod Taylor demonstrates why he is probably one of the most talented vocalists in modern music. With an incredible range and a true appreciation for the the subtleties of dynamics, Taylor deserves accolades and recognition far beyond those that Stomacher has currently received. I can only hope that time will correct some of these discrepancies.
Simultaneously, the other members of Stomacher present a brooding and seemingly tangible atmosphere, evoking feelings that other bands only wish they could draw out of their listeners. There are sounds and tones embedded in these songs that are subtle that subsequent listens prove to be as valuable and invigorating as the very first. The closest comparisons that come to mind are Radiohead’s OK Computer (vocals) and The National’s High Violet. However, it is Stomacher’s grasp for such subtleties truly sets this band apart from the few peers that they have.
Luckily for all of us, the band is already in the studio working on a follow up to this incredible album, an album that is nothing shy of a masterpiece.
Also, check out this amazing video for “Untitled/Dark Divider.” Be sure to watch in HD. It’s one of the few music videos I can say that I enjoy watching.