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Eugene Studio EP

by Stick Against Stone

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about

“Eugene Studio EP” – A new version of Stick Against Stone arrived on the West Coast in the fall/winter of 1983 after playing on the Rock Against Reagan Tour. Having left Pittsburgh to move to Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and then Eugene, Oregon – the focus on multiple horn players was gone. What remained was the manic rhythmic energy of drummer/ percussionist Richard Vitale and deeply inventive bass grooves of David Soule. Not to mention the the slinky rhythm guitar of the late Daniel Ramirez and the sinewy alto saxophone lines of Robert "Xeres" Shepard. With original lead singer John Creighton (due to health and family reasons) remaining in Pittsburgh, the new vocalist was Sari Jozokos Morninghawk – a pre/proto-Riot Grrrl singer, who played percussion as well.

With little money and few jobs between them, the Oregon incarnation of SAS had plenty of time and youthful energy to write and rehearse new songs in their basement over the winter of 1984/1985. Their lyrics became more questioning of abuses of power (both globally and interpersonally), and the music became funkier and infused with post-punk rock and dub reggae energy. By May 1985 - right after hearing the devastating news of Creighton's death back in Pittsburgh - the band hit the studio to record four new songs for cassette release (the EP cover is of that same cassette). The long-gone Eugene based studio was an early all-digital setup, and the team running the place was still learning the Sony PCM equipment- so the production values were not exactly a perfect fit. However, what shines through the better-than-demo quality of the session is the juiced-up energy of a band with a sound that Pitchfork called "20 years ahead of the future."

We've flipped the original cassette track order to start with a blast: the spiky, angular, agit-political rock of "Rhetoric" - leading into the sardonic, yet proudly militant funk broadside for the rights of oppressed people and against US-backed warlords in "Land." Domestic consumerism is tied to multinational meddling in foreign lands in "Products Throughout the Store" and the original lead song "Don't Let The Bad Man Take You" is a speed-ska romp / screed against bullies and thugs both big and small.

credits

released September 7, 2018

Guitars: Daniel Ramirez
Saxophones & Vocals: Robert "Xeres" Shepard
Bass guitar & Vocals: David Soule
Lead Vocals & Percussion: Sari Jozokos Morninghawk
Drums & Percussion: Richard Vitale

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about

Stick Against Stone Brooklyn, New York

Stick Against Stone is a funk-injected post-punk/no wave band from Pittsburgh, PA that resided in Pittsburgh; Brooklyn, New York; Eugene, Oregon and San Francisco and remained active (in no less than six incarnations) between 1980 and 1990. The band incorporated elements of no wave, world music, free jazz, reggae, avant-funk, rap, spoken word, ska, dub, African, and art-rock into their music. ... more

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