Right… I’ll start by being honest… I was originally put off listening to this band because their old band logo looked like a Stella Artois label and I wrongly thought they’d be a run of the mill pub-rock band. Also, I’m a real ale man you see.
However, I managed to catch part of their set at last year’s Coalfields Festival and actually thought they offered up a really good slice of Britpop period Indie with some pretty interesting beats. It’s not really the kind of music I’d listen to in my own time but I recently discovered that the boys are big Nick Cave fans, so I thought I’d delve a little deeper.
Don’t Get Me Started is Stellavision’s first album proper and the first thing I notice is that the old logo seems to have completely vanished. The long-player contains a whole batch of songs their regular gigs goers will recognise, unlike me, who is new to most of them. It opens with Another Lonely Day and a bit of an off-beat skank rhythm on the verse which is immediately catchy. The chorus too has a bit of a reggae feel to it too and is followed by Thoughts Like These, which has much more of a blues rock feel to it. No Religion seems to takes its influences from as far and wide as Reef, Zepplin and Cream, with a lovely undertone of Gospel. A good start then?
Plastic Brain is your basic indie rock fare, with stomping beat, classic rock guitar solo and it’s brash sudden end, and Don’t Need Your Sympathy hints at The Coral and Mersey beat in general, but there are many bands doing that, so for me, it’s on those tracks that fuse indie with roots and ska that Stellavision appear to have really carved a niche for themselves.
Times Like These reminds me a little of The Levellers in sound, feel and also in Glen’s vocals. Lyrically too, it treads similar territory with its austerity folk punk lyrics – a real high point.
The upbeat indie feel of the album is balanced out by sudden detours in mood with Head In the Clouds and Wise Up, both darker in tone and even the appearance of a string section. Definite highlight for me though is Just Keep Running, with its bass heavy verse and a much deeper vocal from Glen. Digging that added harmonica too.
Album closer Do You Know? is a song that flips between blues rock verse and a breakneck speed rock n roll chorus which has a definite whiff of early The Beatles about it, and its grandiose outro sounds like a barrage of keyboards and horns but ends all too suddenly. It would have been nice to have had it played out a little longer. Still, a great first album and while it still remains not the kinda music I’d normally listen to and not a snifter of Nick Cave was to be heard, it’s a good’n and the next time I see them live, I’ll definitely be listening out for those skank beats.
STELLAVISION release Don’t Get Me Started this spring and play Barnsley’s The Trades Club on the 31st March as part of an all day benefit concert to raise money for Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association.
You can hear a number of tracks from this album on Stellavision’s bandcamp page stellavision.bandcamp.com