STONED AT HEART: Party Tracks Vol. I: LP

Jan 20, 2011

One of the curious wrinkles of surrounding yourself with fellow music lovers—roommates, good buddies, significant others—is that when someone moves out or moves away, you come to realize that you don’t own some of your favorite music. And it happens with bands that you’re most familiar with, collectively. I was astonished at how few Big Boys, Bad Brains, and Bananas records I actually owned when I ended up living by myself. The bands seem so close. I listened to them so much. And there were gaping holes in my music library. And so it can go with local, great bands. “Oh, man, I’ll pick that up next time. I see you all the time.” It’s especially the case when so many of the members were and are in other bands like Toys That Kill, Can Of Beans, and Underground Railroad To Candyland. I’m totally guilty of this behavior. I don’t want to say that I take Stoned At Heart for granted, I don’t. But I really thought I’d actually reviewed this record and hadn’t. I first met Baby J., the lady voice in Stoned At Heart, as a sixteen-year-old-kid who was living in a shed behind a house in San Pedro. She’s been playing in bands ever since. Couple her voice to the sunny-on-top, questioning-in-the-middle, it goes-down-easy playing and singing of Todd Congelliere, Chachi, and Jimmy Trash, and you’ve got a record that’s super-duper familiar and comfortable, but traveling down another alley, off on a different errand. To those who don’t recognize a single person’s name in this review, think of indie rock made by punk rockers, so all the douchey, bourgeoisie preciousness is kicked to the curb, yet it’s pretty and mostly mellow, precisely played, emotionally convincing, and always moving forward.

 –todd (Recess,