STITCHES, THE: Twelve Imaginary Inches: CD

The Stitches had me 50-50 until I saw them several years back at a Shakedown. They bruised, shouted, and creepered through a beer-glass-to-the-head set in Vegas. The crowd was rabid, seething for more. The Stitches’ set time was up, but they didn’t stop playing. Lohrman’s mic was cut. Without vocals, he picked up a little red plastic cup and shouted through it like an itty bitty megaphone as the band ripped through another. The crowd sang along so loudly and shot so much energy back at the band that during the last chorus, the mic was flicked back on and – while not necessarily a love fest – it was a real rock’n’roll moment where the audience became the fifth member of the band. Everything was blasted in temporary alcoholic bliss. In the years following, The Stitches have alternately impressed and bored the fuck out of me live, depending if they’re fighting one another, depending if they can stand up. Coke variables, emotional stability, that sort of thing. This album is as close to the perfect live set the Stitches are capable of, then laying it to tape and making sure the drummer keeps time. It’s just short of having Johnny kicking you straight in the chest if you’re standing too close. My favorite full length release by them. Check the little box by name. I’m a believer.

 –todd (TKO)