This is THE sleeper album on Mimicry Recordings. Its really really
intolerable that albums like this have to sit around waiting for the
right people to pull their heads out. Will they ever? We think so. But
we'll be honest and say Mimicry isn't the right label for this band.
But what an honor it's been to get to put out an album this good. So
now the question is: where are the big labels? How far up your butts
are your heads jammed? Jesus.
Eight months in the making, The Stares' Spine to Sea is a work to
which many somber -ism's apply. The Stares are an easy obsession to
acquire, and no one who hears this CD will walk away from it
untouched. The voices of songwriters Angie Benintendi and Drew
Whittemore fixate on some distant invisible expanse, treading so
slowly, so articulately, through landscapes familiar, but sprinkled
with an epiphanized dust of solemnity that just doesn't wash off the
listener's soul. "Americana" maybe, but with roots so deep in the
earth that there's no geography that could ever really contain them.
The songs seem to rise up out of themselves, having no visible origin
nor point of destination; they just are.
From Seattle, the Stares are a four-piece with aforementioned
vocalists/songwriters Whittemore and Benintendi on guitar and electric
piano/keyboards respectively, and Don McGreevy on bass and Jason
Merculief on drums. This ensemble is filled out with string and
woodwind arrangements by Eyvind Kang, who authored along similar lines
for the latest Blonde Redhead CD. As great as that was, he absolutely
outdid himself on Spine To Sea. The album is supported further by an
auxiliary team of various Seattle music legends herded under the
Stares roof by Randall Dunn, the record's production wizard.
"To say their sound is a rare find in this town is a laughable
understatement." —Jeff Rush, Tablet