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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

The Stoves
Come On Along (7" single)

Hot damn, the Shmat got to break out his long neglected record player to review The Stoves' 7" single out on Monotone Records. But first a digression... did the Shmat ever mention the time a few years ago when he went to a music store at the mall and quite foolishly asked the teenaged pimply faced girl working the counter if they sold record player needle cartridges? "Racket player? Rackets? Oh, try Oshman's, three stores down." Shmat doesn't claim to be all master-of-past-cultures but it's a sad day when today's youth have no idea what a record player is. Probably an anomaly, seeing as how DJ culture is still well entrenched in society, but still quite frightening. Ok, 'nuff said. Back to Shmat's featured programming.

Presented here are two humble folk songs from New Jersey's The Stoves, comprised of Ryan Doyle and Kevin Huelbig, Jr. "Come On Along" has a laid back feel that sounds sort of like the Kings of Convenience but while those Norwegian balladeers often sing their harmonies straight up using thirds, The Stoves employ a sort of threaded call and response to create a nicely bleak voicing, almost like stream of consciousness talking. The simple acoustic guitar picking and minimal drums contained herein may also earn the duo the obligatory comparisons to Sentridoh or Folk Implosion. But "Speechless" has more of a shoegazey rather than folk feel to it and might feel right at home on a Field Mice album. Again, the two voices rotate to provide a nice counterpoint against both strumming and picking from the acoustic guitar. Good stuff... the Shmat will be interested in seeing if an EP or full length follows this.

- review by SHMAT (4.28.03)        

Monotone Records
409 Martin Court
Leonardo, NJ 07737

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