Music » Critics' Picks


Wednesday, December 3; the Gargoyle at Washington University


To answer the inevitable first question, "Scream Toward the Uprising of Nonconformity" is what S.T.U.N. stands for. While that may sound dangerously close to a handbill stuck to any given telephone pole on Delmar, forgive the members of S.T.U.N. for their pseudo-political rhetoric. What matters is that they give a damn about what they're saying and sound accordingly pissed off.

Like ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and the late At the Drive-In, S.T.U.N. revel in chaos, shouting and angular rhythms. S.T.U.N. might lack the pure left-brain madness of the latter, but, as Warped Tour veterans, they have a better sense of what a crowd wants to hear and knows that a post-punk cocktail goes down easier with a little bit of pop. Their full-length debut, Evolution of Energy, has Offspring-esque anthems like "Love and Chaos," and lead singer Christiane J. has a charisma that makes agitprop slogans such as "the underground is coming out tonight" and "the Bible is just a story I read" sound like rallying cries for the kids. Even S.T.U.N.'s strutting cover of Wire's "Reuters" is probably the catchiest post-punk steal since Elastica. "Let's get the boys and the girls together," Christiane sings in "Watch the Rebellion Grow," and even though he's referring to class warfare, S.T.U.N. could just as convincingly be singing about getting the party started.

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