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album review: perfectly sane

Most people might imagine that the beaches of California come included with the voice of Anthony Kiedis and the upstrokes of Sublime echoing out of every oceanfront porch. Though they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, there is a new name reviving every sound that has hit the shores of the Golden State. Hailing from San Diego, Sitting On Stacy (previously known as “Paper”) is giving everyone the resources needed to feel like a true Californian teenager. Their sophomore album Perfectly Sane dropped August 16th, and delivers a selection of sounds that define the band’s maturing style. True to the band’s spirit, the new album is youthful, energetic, reflective, and playful.

Drummer Leland Schenck leads us into the album with a strike of the snare and we’re pulled along by the chugging of the bass by Kyle Hart until we’re smacked in the face with the full force of overdriven guitar from frontman Hoyt Yeatman IV. This intro track, “F Nature,” quickly and smoothly transitions back and forth from the traditional punk rock chorus to verses that lean more towards the side of bouncier ska influence. The song claims its place both musically and lyrically in punk rock as it echoes the cries of the scene, breaking away from conformity, embracing the title of “loser” and feeling disenfranchised. Second track, “Laid,” is heavily reminiscent of the prime of 90s and early 2000s bands like Green Day, where time is put aside within the song to shine a spotlight on catchy bass lines and overdriven breakdowns. Not taking themselves too seriously on this one, the band light heartedly expresses the mindless desire to simply get laid.

The third track of the album and one of the singles released earlier this summer is the sprightly “Chest Hair.” You’ve never heard a more appropriate song to blast out of the convertible you dream of driving up and down Pacific Coast Highway. The song is lighthearted and bouncy, returning to those ska influences Sitting On Stacy has often explored in the past. A saxophone solo is thrown in the end  to complete that sound as the song focuses on living a life that is “bright and bold.” One thing this track seems to solidify is the band’s pure joy of making music solely to have fun and connect with a young audience.

“Over The Edge” quite literally ushers in the edgier side of the album with pounding drums and charged-up vocals. The chanting of the chorus is so catchy it practically begs for an audience to join in the screaming and dancing. The volume is definitely cranked all the way up whenever this track comes on. The re-recording of “I Dont Care” provides a cleaner, tighter sound than the original but carries Sitting On Stacy’s signature style of playful verses interrupted by pedal-to-the-metal choruses. “Hope She’s The One” and the re-recording of  “The Herd” follow this sure-fire formula.

Suddenly the album takes a refreshing turn on a more mature and reflective theme with the dreamy track “Harmony.” The vocals are softer, matching the wistfulness of the lyrics and bright guitar tones. The line “all the secrets that you keep lie thick in a haze of perfume” really stands out as proof of the band’s ability to explore their ability to be more poetic lyricists. The first single from Perfectly Sane, “California,” eases the listener back into the edgier side of the album with an intoxicating intro guitar riff. With this track, they jump back into their mischievous lyrics and dirtier guitar tones. The energy is again kept up throughout “Love Me Back” and the flirty “I Wrote This Song to Win A Girl (And It Didn’t Work).” 

Approaching the end of the record, the band once again takes some time to explore their more reflective side with the song “Feel It.” The club-esque bass adds a little bit of that bounce required to keep the track in sync with the energy of the rest of the album. Meanwhile some synth and backing female vocals by Hannah Groll add an element that had yet to be explored by the band. “Nowhere Else To Go” is a short acoustic ballad that helps to close out the album and tie up the softer themes that have been touched on lightly and appropriately throughout the record. It feels like it could be the last song of the album but Sitting On Stacy decides they’re not done having fun here. While you’re still drying your tears, “The Fries” kicks down the door and spits in your face and tells you to pull yourself together. The song features a bit of a Beastie Boys influence with a headbanging guitar riff, comical lyrics and switches between vocalists before going into a face-melting guitar solo that’s sure to burn down the house at a live show. The track plays out with a secret song ending on an ethereal sound distinct from the rest of the album.

With the release of this new album they’re due for a tour any day so make sure to catch them on the road! For now, Sitting On Stacy will be celebrating the release of Perfectly Sane TONIGHT (08/29/19) at The Smell in Los Angeles and on Saturday (08/31/19) at The Irenic in San Diego. They’ve also been added to Day One (09/21/19) of the LA County Fair’s Minor League Music Festival at the Pomona Fairgrounds.

Listen to the full album here:

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