Stegosaur – Adventure 7″

Stegosaur - Adventure 7"The excellently-named Stegosaur hail from San Antonio, Texas, and play tremulous indie power-pop with delicate sensitivity and walloping distorted choruses. The Adventure 7″ boasts three such tracks.

Opener ‘A Headache’ opens with simple palm-mutes and a tamborine underpinning the lines “Strike a balance between mean and pop sensibility hoping the tracks that we chose keep the interest of record executives pleading in rhyme not to be ignored.” It’s tongue in cheek, of course, later adding “so the equity used buys a van and some clothes.” (I actually can’t make out the lyrics between that bit, which is kinda annoying.) After that things kick off a bit with clean, powerful singing and loud power chords… plus glockenspiel, you know, because that’s how they roll.

I’ve seen Stegosaur compared to Cursive but I’m more reminded of Desaperacidos, the one-album Bright Eyes side-project, as Stegosaur’s singer has more than a hint of Conor Oberst about his delivery. The simple music, quiet/loud dynamics and fragilility of the song also remind me a little of Canada’s Now, Now Every Children.

Second track ‘Big Breath’ has a gorgeous little bit of lead guitar work for its intro, effective in its simplicity. It’s amazing sometimes how just a couple of notes can make a song for you… otherwise, ‘Big Breath’ operates in a similar quiet verse/power chord chorus vein to ‘A Headache’, with tremolo lead penetrating but not overpowering the rhythm guitar. It’s a solid song though I find myself wanting to return to that intro (which happily reappears later as part of a verse) more than the chorus.

‘Bloooooood’ is a change of pace; the same songwriting approach is at work with simple and effective power chord strums and trembling vocals driving the song, but handclaps and organ synth are used to introduce a stabbing rhythm to the affair. The end result is a warm and somewhat jaunty tune. It’s pretty decent but I don’t find it as affecting as those that precede it. Mileage, as always, may vary.

On the strength of these three tracks, which fuse sensitivity with gentle self-deprecation into an endearing and compassionate whole, Stegosaur are a band worth keeping tabs on.

MySpace | Seafoam Recordings | PunkNews stream of Adventure 7″

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