The StopMotion Men

What Now?

Written by: DR on 18/03/2010 16:23:42

The second of the two bands on my promo list from Wales are trio The StopMotion Men. They hail from Cardiff, and in the three years since their beginning, have begun to build a reputation for themselves by not only gaining airplay on South Wales Radio, but also earning support slots for the likes of The Automatic and The Feeling.

I wrote that introduction before really paying attention to this EP. After numerous listens, I not only had to re-read that, but also the press release that came with it. Why? Because that word "trio" in the opening sentence just doesn't make sense. On this EP, three people have managed to build a sound that is so "epic", along the lines of 30 Seconds To Mars' "This Is War", coupled with the emotion Jeff Buckley packed on songs such as "Eternal Life". Oh, and you can tell they like Muse too. It's a winning combination. "What Now?" is an attempt at a rock powerhouse; it has the dancing piano, the driving string sections and militaristic drumming that all ooze with urgency until the big "crescendo". Geraint Connor's voice is suited perfectly to this expansive sound that The StopMotion Men pull off well. He's more than capable in many areas; the rage of "Spit and Chew", you can hear the strain in his angst'y voice the song swells. But also in ballad'y closer "Hurt You", as his voice cracks to the sound of his own heartbreak. It's not all about Connor's emotions, though. The musicianship is what will set this band apart from others. The bombastic, atmospheric nature of it helps create an apocalyptic feel that just adds to the epicness they are so obviously striving for.

While all of that is well and good, and though the instrumental side of things will universally impress, the vocals could potentially deter you. Connor spends the entire EP trying to be overly emotive. He's either slow and tragic or, through strained pipes, intense and profound. There's no middle ground. If you have a fondness for the theatrical and melodramatic there's plenty here for you, but if you prefer something a bit more "down to earth" or straightforward, don't hold your breath. I belong to the former.


Download: Spit and Chew; Hurt You
For The Fans of: Muse; 30 Seconds to Mars
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 19.02.2010
Rogues Gallery Records

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