Once upon a time, I lived in Dundee. It wasn’t really a fun place to be but it did have Clark’s bakery and their 24 hour a day steak and gravy pies and said pies provided highly effective therapy for my anger management issues for, although it might not actually say it in the bible, nobody stabs anybody after massacring two steak and gravy pies. So, you might be wondering, what has all that got to do with Stoor’s new album “Fleam”? Well, Stoor are from Dundee (and I am also hungry…).
OK, let's get started. What do you get when you get when you take these ten tracks to your heart and ears? Something angular for sure yet this band are more than just another echo of the jagged edge of Scotland’s guitar powered post punk past. Stoor, you see, hide their ambition within the murk of conventionality with even indie rock fans finding enough three chord worship here to mistake this band as being one of their own. However, ponder the band’s near art rock interludes – such as in “Love Bombing” and “Atrocities” - and it soon becomes clear that there is some sly shape shifting at play with those retro influences getting forcibly merged with words that could only come from a sharp mind firmly docked in the present day before being transformed into something superficially familiar and yet, in the final analysis, not.
Best song? The cascading and manic “Founding Fathers” did it for me.
Verdict? Smarter than you might think on first acquaintance.