CD Fret Sounds [Digipak] (CD 7046403),
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Fret Sounds [Digipak]

  • 1. Clyde
    2. Johnny Tinnitus
    3. Duly Noted
    4. Let's Talk Topography
    5. St. Cloud
    6. Bish. (Dub)
    7. Neato
    8. Bullfrog
    9. Ever
    10. Cimarron, NM
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 17

  • Credits

    Listeners familiar with the `90s Hoboken scene will remember singer/guitarist Ralph Malanga from the band Footstone and singer/guitarist Sean Adams and bassist Brian Musikoff from the Jersey City-based Friends, Romans, Countrymen. At the advent of the 2000s, these indie rock veterans teamed up with drummer Pete Martinez (formerly of the Coffin Daggers) as Stuyvesant, and picked up where they left off with their respective former groups, continuing the pursuit of perfect power riffage, rousing choruses, and impassioned vocals. As on their 2008 debut, Stuyvesant succeed at keeping things tight, upbeat, and driving throughout. Fret Sounds opens with "Clyde," a frenetic ode to an adolescent friendship fostered over arcade games and Big Gulps, followed by "Johnny Tinnitus," a moving paean to a friend who's passed on, and the legacy of strength left behind. Sweetness and crunch prevail on "Let's Talk Topography," where the exasperated lead vocal spars with bursts of rhythm guitar to create a curt kiss-off to those who surf the shallows and deal in deception. "Bullfrog," "Neato," "St. Cloud" (spotlighting Martinez's drum prowess), and a cover of Lemonheads' "Ever" continue in the pop-punk mode, but the potential sameness is mitigated by some key mood-shifting songs. "Duly Noted," while still an uptempo number, has richer textures and a dynamic arrangement that layers ringing guitar harmonics and keyboards over Musikoff's fluid basslines. Musikoff is similarly featured on the instrumental "Bish. (Dub)," which is -- as the title suggests -- an off-the-wall indie rock take on dubstep. "Cimarron, NM," a quiet exercise for clean electric guitar and two intertwined vocals, ends the album on a meditative note, pondering those mysteries of life, love, and yearning that don't disappear with age. Fret Sounds may not be a wildly ambitious outing, but, to paraphrase a memorable line from "Johnny Tinnitus," the able musicians in Stuyvesant "do the best they can, where they are, with what they have." And what they have is pretty damn cool. ~ Paula Carino

  • Critic Reviews
    CMJ - "Stuyvesant, the high-energy indie rock band from New Jersey, is unabashedly, and refreshingly, forward with its intention to lose all pretenses and just play good rock music."
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