Stony Sugarskull – Lioness LP (Sugarskull/ STP)

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Berlin has always been responsible for promoting bands that go beyond genres – just think of the likes of Einstürzende Neubauten, Nina Hagen or Atari Teenage Riot. Well let’s another name to add to that list – Stony Sugarskull. Following a couple of singles here’s the debut album “Lioness”. In the tradition of taking boundaries and tearing them down, this album combines influences from various genres, bringing them together to create something exciting. Also, it is highly listenable, before you worry that this is simply an exercise in experimentation…

If I had to describe this in a word, it would be “hypnotic”. Starting off with simple song structures much like Velvet Underground or The Stooges, they roll the riffs and melodies around until they become like a mantra. Monika Demmler’s vocals are at times atonal, and at others very tuneful, without turning the songs into pop.

Throw in a whole bunch of krautrock, psychedelia and some shoegaze for good measure and hopefully you get an idea of what is going on. Just when you think you have got your head around a song, new elements kick in, for example on “Beehive” – you know when someone plays a beautiful song on an out-of-tune piano? Eerie, uneasy listening that keeps drawing you back in. Well worth a listen. The record is being carried and distributed by the good folk at STP records so head over there if you think this will rock your boat: www.stprecords.org Tom Chapman

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