Stark – “Every Day” + “One Way to the Bottom”


The eponymous debut album from Illinois-based band Stark presents intrigue throughout, casting a spell with its touching of post-punk, shoegaze, and grunge — within a nostalgic New Romantic tint. Among its highlights, “Every Day” touts an atmospheric post-punk sound, providing a hypnotic pull throughout. Bass-hopping verses and shimmering, eerie string-laden backing gear toward a rise in vocal emotion, reminding fondly of Television (while the strings feel quite Pulp-esque). Certainly, “Every Day” is a captivating, fitting opener to the album.

“One Way to the Bottom” is another success, offering a dark rock-forward sound with mellower vocals that build to further ferocity past the one-minute mark. The suave vocal escalation and dark guitar stutters remind fondly of early Manic Street Preachers. The album is full of quality cuts with varying rock tones, from the hectic intensity of “Watch Your Signals” to the suavely atmospheric post-punk track “House of Rats.”

Stream this excellent album from the Champaign, Illinois-based band, in full below:

“Every Day” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2021’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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