STOPS, THE: Nameless Faces: LP

I have listened to this record dozens of times in the past week and still don’t know exactly what to write. That seems strange, as this isn’t a terribly complex record. It’s actually quite simple in a lot of ways. The Stops are sort of a thrown-together band of misfits from Portland that dances around early Californian punk like the Authorities, VKTMS, or the Avengers with some new wave inflections in the vocals, and a post-punk vibe in the vocal phrasing and backbeat. The songs are catchy without being sugary or poppy. The lyrics are intelligent, well-paced, poignant, and crisp. Several songs work very well on their own—with “Moom” and “Repulsive” being standouts—but the record on a whole is a well-rounded unit. My only complaint is that the songs feel rushed at times. This may be one of the few times I will say that a band would benefit from “production.” All in all, this is a fantastic record and contender for one of the best records of the year

 –Ian Wise (Dirt Cult)