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The Stares: Spine to Sea $14.00 $10.00

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

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