The Stick Arounds “Ways To Hang On”
The Stick Arounds certainly know how to grab our attention when they talk about the members sharing a love for acts like The Knack, Elvis Costello, Big Star and Teenage Fanclub. And we love the idea of a band looking to pay homage to the power pop era of rock and roll.
There’s a real feel of ‘classic rock’ to opener “Get U Back”. But we don’t mean that in a kind of hoary old rockers churning out old sounding songs! Instead, there is just a sense of heritage to the band and the feeling of timelessness to their sound.
In many ways, this album feels like a tour of some of the great American artists over the years. From the ragamuffin American rock of The Replacements on “Majestic Figureheads” to the punkier blues sound of Jesse Malin on “Better Off Like This” and then the American rock of Lucero on “What Was Comin’”. Although, almost inevitably, with this kind of sound, the shadow of Mr Springsteen falls over the blue collar rock of “Shakes” and “Falling Down On You”.
That’s not to say The Stick Arounds are stuck in times gone by. Tracks like “Man Of Action” and “Great America” are neat little slices of modern rock. These songs remain relevant to the sounds of the day, although probably of too high a quality to actually get radio play (more the pity!). In particular, in a perfect world, “All I Can Take” would be a huge hit.
Sometimes it’s just really cool to hear a great rock album that wears its heart on its sleeve. That’s certainly the case with this release. The Stick Arounds haven’t sort to overcomplicate things or drown their sound in effects or cheap tricks. Instead they’ve taken a blueprint of great rock n roll written by ‘proper’ song writers and produced something that still sounds fresh.