Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Heat up this Stove.

Steve Hartlett of Stove, photo by RJ Gordon
Stove is the new project from Steve Hartlett, formerly of Ovlov. I say "project" instead of "band" because all of Stove debut, Is Stupider, is performed entirely by Hartlett under the nom de guerre Stove van Borden. Not that you'd guess it was a one-man band on the album itself since it sounds like a group of dude's bashing away at a bunch of guitars and drums in the studio. Usually something like this would give itself away with perhaps a bit too much precision, but things here are gloriously sludgy. There's a give and take in the songs that makes it feel more organic.

There's a heavy '90s vibe at play here too. I know, shocker! I hear a lot of early Creeper Lagoon at play here, buttressed by a thick wall of slightly discordant guitars, whose overall effect is creating a heavily melodic space that surrounds the tasty central core of Hartlett's writing. One listen to "Wet Food" (below) and I think you'll get exactly what I'm talking about. He uses that effect pretty frequently throughout Is Stupider and it works every time.

While the album was a studio project, Hartlett has hit the road with a full band to promote it, and they come through Chicago to play Subterranean on November 13. If you look at listings you will see that's a night currently with a ridiculous amount of good shows going  on, but I seriously recommend checking out this up-and-comer.

No comments: