The latest recording from Seattle Power Pop purveyors Stag is a full-on chooglin’ slice of stomp-worthy boogie evoking early ’70s glam. Let’s just say Marc Bolan would be proud. A limited edition colored vinyl 45, featuring iconic cover imagery from famed NYC ’70s-era photographer Meryl Meisler, is a rager!. Recorded by Jack Endino and mixed by Martin Feveyear, the single captures the members of Stag laying down their most ambitious songwriting, and production to date. “The Bedazzler” burns hot live and will sound perfect mixed in with artists like T- Rex, Ty Segall or Eagles of Death Metal on any radio station or playlist. Hear it now in all its glory!
Debuted yesterday on Seattle Radio Station KEXP, the Bedazzler is ready for action!
It’s not surprising to find references to record stores and record players on Stag’s self-titled, full-length debut. Or for that matter, a faithful cover of Eric Carmen’s “Get The Message” from his days with Cyrus Erie in 1969. The Seattle-based Stag, fronted by vocalist Steve Mack of the UK’s That Petrol Emotion, packs a power pop wallop that harks back to an era when Cheap Trick and Carmen’s better-known group, The Raspberries, pretty much released everything on vinyl.
Stag’s chief songwriter, guitarist-singer Ben London, draws from a variety of influences, such as The Who on the energetic “Ides Of March,” and the original British Invasion on the catchy and fun tribute to indie labels, “Love Her Records.” London’s knack for satire shines through on the galloping “Chameleons,” with its images of diners fighting over a check and urgent chorus of, “What are you waiting for, you’re running out of time.” The rollicking “Tiffany Rose” depicts a woman so caught up in the latest trends, she disappears within her high fashion clothes and make-up. Mack offers a wide range of vocal styles throughout these 12 tracks, and creates some inventive harmonies with London and guitarist-vocalist Lincoln Barr.
Steve Mack (That Petrol Emotion)’s cool, enthusiastic voice hasn’t changed, and this new Seattle five-piece, including songwriter/guitarist Ben London (ex-Alcohol Funnycar), tries a more classic rock-pop song, and a good one, than either older group was known for. With Seattle vet Jack Endino behind the board, “Don’t Lead with Your Heart” comes off like a ’70s nugget by guys with one foot each in that era’s singles scene and rock ballroom circuit from Fillmore to Fillmore. Shakespeare’s 1599 Julius Caesar-referencing B-side “Ides of March” (woe to the Roman emperor, March 15, 44 BC) comes out more definitely in the later camp; with its swinging horns, it pays clear homage to 1970-1973 Who, from “My Wife” to “The Real Me.” [Limited-Edition numbered 500 copies on colored vinyl.)
We just noticed that the Stranger gave our show w/ Marcy Playground a nice preview last week. Kurt B. Reighley had some nice things to say. We’re blushing…. Check it out!
Marcy Playground, Stag
(Tractor) What does it sound like when you cross singer Steve Mack, formerly of Undertones spin-off That Petrol Emotion, with grunge survivor Ben London of Alcohol Funnycar and alt-country act Sanford Arms? Would you believe… a power-pop band? This local quintet has already issued two EPs of streamlined and sinewy gems like “Love Her Records,” sure to please Cheap Trick and Guided by Voices fans. As befits a band that posts old Raspberries footage on its blog and courts mouth-breathing fan boys who groan whenever some VH1 talking head dismisses the Knack as “one-hit wonders,” Stag’s latest must-have is a limited-edition colored vinyl 45, “Don’t Lead with Your Heart.” KURT B. REIGHLEY
KEXP has been so supportive since we released out first EP. We can’t thank them enough. One of the coolest things to do as a band is playing live on the radio. We had the chance to do it in December. Check out this clip of us playing “These Times” from our EP These Times Are For All Of Us.