The Stellas: Cry Baby Cry
The first release from the North Carolina rock band The Stellas is just a seven-track EP, and for some people that might not seem like enough. Count me among those who would rather hear a band get in, make their point and get out than wade through seventy minutes of junk drawer logic trying to find the good stuff. In the case of Cry Baby Cry, there really isn’t a wasted moment; three of the tracks could be singles and the rest are solid enough to make you jot their name down as a band to keep an eye on.
Some of the promo quotes about their alternative pop sound referenced Fountains of Wayne, but beyond the similar nature to hide an odd topic in a catchy melody, I don’t see it. Ditto any resemblance to The Kinks, and as a lifelong fan of Ray and the boys, it wasn’t for lack of trying; with few exceptions The Stellas’ sound is more dense and thick. Far more accurate are the Weezer comparisons, which become evident within ten seconds of both the title track and the opening cut “Burnout”, although with “In Stereo” I’d be just as quick to name-check Superdrag.
Arty video for “In Stereo” (note: sound is almost nil for first 60 seconds)
A live video of “Burnout” recorded in April 2008.
Personally, I think The Stellas shine brightest on songs like “I’m On The Outside” and especially “18”, where their stop-and-start chopping melodies set up the sing-along choruses. Like the better energetic rock bands that have a powerpop core and a punky edge (think Plain White Ts, All American Rejects, etc.) their songs are tight and sharp. Hopefully they’ll hit the road in larger circles; for now it looks like they’re headed out for an Armed Forces Tour in Southeast Asia.
Semper Fi, Stellas.
Cry Baby Cry is available via CD Baby.
Check out some additional sound clips on their MySpace page.