by Sean Orr
VANCOUVER – It’s almost as though storc (small ‘s’) vocalist Luke Meat was sick of the Steve Albini and Jesus Lizard references being thrown around at different bands and decided to take matters into his own hands. This month his band is delivering a raw, un-hinged, abrasive proto-punk baby into the arms of fans of Jesus Lizard and Dead Kennedys. Backed by a crew of some of Vancouver’s best musicians, Mr. Meat delivers a tour de force in just under half an hour; a raucous and explosive curveball that ranges from the aforementioned Dead Kennedys to Husker Du to local stalwart Chi Pig (SNFU). His vocals are tense, funny and occasionally terrifying, from bullhorn-ready hollering to howls of anguish if the song calls for it.
The band’s self-titled debut was recorded and engineered by Josh Stevenson at Otic Sound, live-off-the-floor over the course of eight hours and it shows. Furiously paced and jam packed with goodies, including a little acoustic guitar on “Can You Hear It?” (I could), a thrashy ode to Lance Mountain, and a pscyh-shoegaze masterpiece to close it all off. The standout track is “One Woman Two Eyes.” Allen Forrester’s Les Paul crunches out a hypnotic minute-long intro riff as drummer Ben Frith and bassist Matthew Lyons plod along punctuated by Luke Meat’s didactic chanting, building into a lascivious crescendo. Also, sick Kate Bush reference.
Masters of the short song, storc provide a brisk jaunt through the annals of post-punk. Self-described human guitarist extraordinaire, Allen Forrester rebuts: “I like to think that we’ve mastered all songs and mostly play short ones. I also like to give myself most of the credit.” Here is just a quick glimpse of the irreverent attitude of the band. Elsewhere, the creepy closing lines of “King of Face,” the side-two opener, is another: “Things always look better in the morning after a few drinks / You and I can speak for hours and talk about nothing / Exchange pleasantries like “what”? What did that mean? What? Why did you say that? What? Where are you going my dear?”
Despite taking only eight hours to record, the album heaves and pulsates with a disturbing depth; a rocky chasm filled with moss and bat droppings; wet basalt catching misted shafts of light; the smell of dank regolith; the house of a singular redolent troll.
Storc will be celebrating the release of their new LP on November 18 at SBC Café with BRASS, Hedks and Womankind.SBC, Storc