Reviews Sex Stains Sex Stains

Sex Stains

Sex Stains

Sex Stains put it all out front on the opening “Countdown to…” which is as much a confrontational statement of purpose as it is a song. The speak-sing nature and rambling tone set the stage instead of opening with a thundering riff or singalong hit. The band is equal parts accessible punk, destructive no wave, and art rock. And, yes, Allison Wolfe (ex-Bratmobile, Cold Cold Hearts, and others) is one of the main voices and there’s the inevitable Riot Grrl vibe and her distinct enunciation at play throughout the record.

Sex Stains, though, is a new band with a new feel. There are some familiar moments. The sneering delivery within “Sex in the Subway” is reminiscent of the ‘90s scene and the overall unapologetic and direct tone fits that movement as well.

What makes this band unique is both the wide range they take across the 12-song album, but also the song structures and two-singer trade-offs. Different songs sound of the punk world, some are rambling and chaotic like “Countdown to…” and then there’s the out of left field “Cutie Pie,” which is a dub step thing that’s actually a welcomed positive vibe with a dance beat that complements the often harsher tone on the record. The dual vocals are used in a conversational textured and trade-off fashion, as Wolfe plays off Mecca Vazie Andrews and vice versa. Wolfe follows a more traditional punk singer role, while Andrews uses more vocal cues and variations to whoop and belt in conjunction with the instrumentation. Then, in the playful “Who Song Love Song,” they speed up those handoffs in a crystal clear metaphor on mansplaining. The two-singer interchanges are really the defining trait of the band and, despite Wolfe’s more familiar name, Andrews, often upstages her.

Bratmobile was one of the weirder, more adventurous bands in the Riot Grrl scene and Sex Stains definitely keeps that open musical mind concept, taking it further. There are shades of coarse, screamy punk but, truly, Sex Stains is more upbeat, experimental and fun. There are party music tones at the backbone of some of the songs in open contrast to the deconstructive tone at the forefront. It’s a wild ride that’s seamless enough to pull off the stylistic mish-mash. Angry and playful at the same time.

7.9 / 10Loren
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment

7.9 / 10

7.9 / 10

Share this content
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
Recent reviews

Crypt Sermon

The Ruins of Fading Light

8.5 / 10 Crypt Sermon - The Ruins of Fading Light album cover

The evolution of a band is something that most of us can comprehend through their musical output and live appearances and where most bands evolve quite publicly, there are some ...

CJ Ramone

The Holy Spell

8.2 / 10 CJ Ramone - The Holy Spell album cover
200 Words Or Less

As of August 6th, it’s been 23 long, languid year’s since The Ramones played their final show. Since then, all the original members - Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy ...

New Dialogue

Teach Me How to Feel EP

5.0 / 10 New Dialogue - Teach Me How to Feel EP album cover

New Dialogue's Facebook bio states that the Los Angeles-based quintet "speaks for the moment", and with their band name they "assume an important responsibility" -- bold claims from a band ...

Related news

Tours Sex Stains tour

Posted Aug. 10, 2016, 12:27 p.m.

Sex Stains, the latest group from ex-Bratmobile vocalist Allison Wolfe releases their self-titled debut next month (Sept. 2, Don Giovanni Records). In support of said debut, they'll be on ...

Records Sex Stains (ex-Bratmobile) to release debut on Don Giovanni

Posted July 19, 2016, 11:04 p.m.

Sex Stains, a band featuring Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile), will release a self-titled debut album on Spet. 2 on Don Giovanni Records. Descibed as "inspired by the late '70s and early ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.