STaG Offers Provoking Rock

This distinctive Los Angeles pop rock outfit tantalized us a few weeks back with the release of their uber-creative single “Colorado Suicidal” giving us a nice sample of what to expect on their brand new LP Don’t Check Out.

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STaG is the creative offspring of childhood friends Matt McGuire and Will Walden who forged their bond as 5 year-old teammates, before forming this band as a duo, while they studied at the University of Colorado.  Since that time, they’ve added  guitarist Matt Hampar, Casey Baird on drums and bassist Tony Denove and evolved into a robust five piece with an intriguing sound.

Don’t Check Out explodes through the speakers with the infectious, chaotic “Colorado Suicidal.” It’s a fantastic song,  a distinctive and quirky nugget wrapped in a tasty pop rock wrapper.  The lyrics are an interesting retrospective on less cheerful times, as the singer finds himself in a better happier place.

The song is a provocative indicator of what’s in store throughout the album; music precariously straddling that fine-line between chaos and carefully orchestrated dance pop.  The 11 diverse tracks highlight the breadth of this talented band, who seem like the rambunctious lovechild of Vampire Weekend and Talking Heads… cool stuff!

STaG - photo by Julien Garro
STaG – photo by Julien Garro

There’s something for everyone on Don’t Check Out. “Panic” and “I Never Saw Another” are upbeat ready-for-radio pop rock offerings, while “Loneliness Comes” and “Love Is Waiting” are bouncy dance-inducing tracks.

The aforementioned “Colorado Suicidal” is my favorite track on the album, but I was just as impressed by two other very different tracks, “Code of the Schoolyard” and “Narcissist.”  The former is a sweetly arranged track, with slick guitar pieces, reminiscent of 80’s Alt-Rock, while the latter is a raw bass-driven rocker punctuated by clever lyrics.

A few of the tracks were mediocre, but I credit the band for having the creative courage to throw together a collection as diverse as this, where there’s certainly something for everyone.

The album hits the streets on February 26th, and is definitely worth a listen. Snag the album here:

And, check out some other killer new music we’ve dug up for your enjoyment here: RARA’s Fresh Crops
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