Apparently inspired by “the squares of the Arab Spring”, Fertile is the second album from instrumental group Stearica, based in Torino, Italy. Being released during Spring, the album does blow away the cobwebs; with big, chunky guitar and hammering drums it’s quite a stomper of a record and tracks delve into different moods within the same song, echoing the band’s live approach to music.
180g vinyl which comes with a poster and a copy of the CD. Limited to 500 copies; 300 red and black colored vinyl and 200 just black.
Vinyl Double LP £20.99 MONO92VNL
Deluxe 180g vinyl gatefold 2LP + CD + poster on Monotreme.
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CD £9.99 MONO92CD
CD on Monotreme.
Stearica might be the most frenetic post-rock band since *shels did their dustbowl thing back with ‘The Plains of the Purple Buffalo’. These folks rock, roll and care so very little about the ramifications, invoking the use of cowbell half way through a ferocious, ascending intro jam that plays at the highest of intensities. I want to say it totally undermines the proggy splendour that’s going on, but I’m imagining Jack Black in ‘School of Rock’ listening to this album and responding -- “You’re not hearing me, boy, this cowbell is protected by the 25th Amendment of ROCKIN!”, he’d say.
‘Fertile’ is filled with chaos but tethers it together fantastically: “Halite” swirls around with unpronounced guitars and shaking drums and manages to make a climax out of the weird sounds, before the band wind themselves up and produce riffs for bass and guitar worthy of their post-rock forebearers. Look for the low end in “Bes” before the song reaches for a soaring, angelic riff (or is that people singing? Get back to me RE: transcendence).
There’s one way to blast off from your generic genre ideas, and it’s to be loud, fast and very tight. ‘Fertile’ will appeal to fans of dynamic improv rockers like Causa Sui as well as Tortoise protectors, but it's really for anyone who wants big guitars and the things that happen around them. N.B: I wrote this review at about 500x speed without realising because the music was energising me.
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