STA is now Ten Years Old

Art Rocker Magazine - I Watched It From The Roadside - Album Review

'Consistent, interesting and ever so slightly unpredictable, they should do well.'

We picked them out back in August of 2009 when we featured their ‘A Small Version Of A Party’ EP, and they’ve gone on to be signed up to the well respected Smalltown America label. With that, comes a new digital download/CD EP release named ‘I Watched It From The Roadside’.

Two of the tracks - Slow News Day’ and ‘[Like] Mice in the Cellar’ are taken from the 2009 offering, with three new ones to speak of. I hate to say it actually, but listening to the original and more recent recordings side by side, I think I prefer the band’s first go. Surprisingly, the mixing this time round is not as warm or deep as it was before - the guitar on ‘Slow News Day’ sounding noticeably fuller previously, and the vocals feeling a bit more untamed. That could well be inevitable with a band’s first foray into the world of recording with a ‘proper’ label, but is evident none the less.

That said, don’t let that be a dark omen. The only reason I noticed in particular is because I spent so much time listening to these guys when they dropped into the Artrocker inbox last year. This is a record to be reckoned with; giving the impression that the band are more in tune with what they’re doing, and have got it more firmly nailed down. Whilst the sheer rawness may be toned down, that will surely return with time, and we’re left with something consistent and formidable.

Back first time round, I warned about the possibility of Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea falling off the edge into generic shouty emo territory. I’m delighted that this hasn’t happened, and the guys have shown that they’re more than just a few good songs. Consistent, interesting and ever so slightly unpredictable, they should do well.