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Lani Ford: News/Blog

Another Put It To Your Head review

Posted on May 17, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009 STARK - Put it to Your Head As it’s title implies, Stark’s Put it to Your Head is an album motivated by strong actions drawn from life taxing experiences, their effects, and possessing the individual will to over come them all and chalk it up to being, well, just life. It is the second release from this New York City rock trio, whose music and attitude is directly informed and reflective of it’s home. What sets Stark apart from being your run-of-the-mill New York City bar band are their subtly layered style and the cohesive incorporation of that style. Their music is decidedly rock but not subjugated to blind genre predictability. The more intense guitar work of Josette infuses slight southern tinged blues riffs beside Lani Ford’s gritty punk bass rhythms (“18 Again,” “Disturbed”). While on the ditty “Dreams Come True” the entire band is able to successfully turn it down a notch via the foundation of Sweet Rob Endermann’s drumming; resulting in an indie slice of life piece that would could raise the jealousy of Liz Phair. Vocally Ford has a clean, strong, and melodic alto with a slight vibrato that can draw you in as well as soar over you. Lyrically she is a straight shooter with an onus for tell-all honesty with little subtext that resonates simultaneously as both tough and tender. The yearning “Co-Dependant” depicts a star-crossed relationship with dichotomistic cravings. “This Day” is a tailor made rock anthem about discovering and owning up to ones own self-image. While the stand out “OH NO!” realistically captures the flood of emotions in that first instant of awareness of the inevitable. The album closes with the acoustic “Butterfly,” a painful and personal “Dear John” letter that exhibits ugly strength and melancholic pathos out of its necessity for finality and moving on. A fitting end to an album full of life experiences from a city that could make anyone put a variety of things to their head and yet still have the will to live again. Aaron Simms