Stillwater Black came together in 1991 when Chris Thayer met Ahmed and Sam Pierstorff while playing in the pit band for a high school musical production. Issac McCorkell was quickly recruited on drums and the band recorded its first EP, The Last Virtuous Lady of Athens.

In 1995 they signed with Cleaves Entertainment, a now-defunct independent label based out of Southern California's Inland Empire. Stillwater Black recorded their debut LP, Adam. They played frequently with local and national acts including Dishwalla, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, and IE punk/ska mainstays, The Skeletones.

In 1997 the members parted ways and the project lay dormant for two decades.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Artist Profile: In This Moment

Back in September, we profiled a band that Chris turned me onto, My Chemical Romance. THE poster boys of emo rock, I had missed the ENTIRE life span of this band while on my musical hiatus. The good news is that I get to enjoy them like they're some new thing, but I certainly lost an opportunity to be a part of a cultural moment.

As I reacquaint myself with the various musical offerings out there, I'm in the interesting position of not really knowing what's supposed to be cool. I just let my ears and feet sort of guide me. Once they pick up on something, I'll bring my more calculating self into the experience. If I can still listen to it after that, it's good.

I don't know how I stumbled across In This Moment. Probably link-hopping through YouTube videos. I'm glad I did though. Maria Brink and her band are doing some good work.

I won't pretend to be a diehard fan (what they call their Blood Legion). And I don't have exhaustive knowledge of the band's aesthetic choices, their history, or any sense of where they're headed or why.

What I will tell you is that their studio work on their last three albums, Blood, Black Widow, and Ritual is pretty stunning. The band and their production team have hit on a huge sound that is dark, heavy, modern, loud, tight, and very emotionally charged.

Predictably, Maria Brink leverages her abundant sexuality in much of the band's earlier offerings. For the attentive listener, however, there is often the refreshing, intelligent twist.

In Whore, she screams:
I can be your whore
I am the dirt you created
I am your sinner
And your whore
But let me tell you something baby
You love me for everything you hate me for
How much and what part of a woman's sexuality is intrinsic and what is projected? Historical Christian interpretations of Adam's Fall leave Eve holding the bag. How are gender-relations affected by that intrepretation? Sadly, these questions get lost in a ridiculously gratuitous video that's 50 Shades of Lame. But the music is undeniably huge and infectious.

In the band's latest offering, Ritual, Brink delves more intentionally into her spiritual side. From a July interview with Loudwire, Brink says:
"Sometimes, I can be very suggestive. However, I wanted to show our fans that this is the most powerful side of myself and it's without overt sexuality. It's that deeper serious fire inside of my heart."
The band delivers, moving ever so slightly away from the industrial density and overt sexuality of their previous two records into something that feels like it has deeper Roots.

Not since Janis Joplin have I heard a woman this mature and powerful fronting a rock band. I'm going to keep listening for awhile.

Speaking of listening, our cover of The Beatles' I've Just Seen a Face is out now and streaming on Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. And if you want to make the song your very own, you can download it from Amazon and iTunes.

And then tell us all about how much you love it in the comments section here or on any of our social media hangouts: FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment