GRAINS, THE: Stone Street: LP

Wow, ex-Measure dudes playing, like, Americana? Stone Street’s got its many-tentacled arms in folk, bluegrass, an occasional Murder City Devils swagger, and even a whimsical, story-telling quality akin to The Decemberists or something. Very interesting. A five-piece, dense with piano, harmonica, horns, and with a few vocalists at work, the sound is rich and varied. While the previous description might make it sound a little schizophrenic, there’s an undercurrent of solidity here; the songs never lose sight of themselves. This is also a beautifully physical record—heavy chipboard packaging, an accompanying zine, and possibly the most striking piece of colored vinyl I’ve seen in some years. I was not expecting this at all, but goddamn, it’s a nice surprise. It’s clear, especially on songs like “Mio Secolo,” with its compacted structure and story-like quality, that much of Stone Street will take repeated listens to discover and unfurl. That’s definitely something I’m looking forward to. A challenging piece of music in some ways, but a recommended one.

 –keith (Psychic Volt)