A horrible hack

Stop It!!

Self Made Maps

Year Released: 2003
Format: LP
Label: Robotic Empire - perpetual motion machine
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
I was quite gobsmacked when this came through the door, a slab of 12 inches for review, good lord! Big hugs to Perpetual Motion Machine. I should also note that I received 2 copies of the cd version for review too, heh. I think someone wanted me to hear Stop It!! Although they need not have feared. When I was in Holland a few weeks back I had the pleasure of a sneak preview of some tracks off this LP courtesy of a chap named Jeff. And I enjoyed what I heard. Hurrah! And I am still not ready to start this review, because the band name reminds me of an obscure English cartoon named "Stop it and Tidy Up", about which I can remember little except that my sister and I used to get up at 6am on a Sunday morning to watch it and many other programme's (e.g. "David the Gnome", e.g. "the Shoe People", e.g. "Ramona") in the 1980's, whilst playing "Pirates" (a game we invented that involved "sailing" around the living room on cushions. Hmm).

Ok, a record. Stop It!! are problematic for me because I enjoy their sound an awful lot yet I would have a tough old time describing it or comparing it to anything else. They have a very tightly wound style, relying on sometimes mathy rhythms that coil up and tense before exploding into chunky grooves built on intense drumming and complex guitar. The vocals are shouted and urgent, but I still can't think what it reminds me of. The echoey, live sound they have in particular is something that recalls early Vida Blue, but overall that is not a good comparison - it's the closest I can get though! My favourite track is "Amen and Boys" which hits a repetition early on that totally captures my attention. The song builds and develops, and hits a high point when two folks start intoning a number sequence, one going from 1-5 the other from 5-1. Heh, told you I would have a hard time describing them. It's a great song anyway! Several other songs on here are equally as hot, such as "S.S. Betrayal" where the dual vocalists play off each other to great effect.

I think where Stop It!! really score is that there isn't really any other band out of the 'scene' they inhabit that sounds that much like them, which helps them stand out. Of course, the fact that they bloody well rock is a good thing too. This is a very fine album, the more I listen to it, the more it impresses me. And the DIY screenprinting on the lp cover is super hott!! If there were less records, but all of them were as lovingly created as this one, the world would be a better place.

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