All that’s missing is Dubya.
Along with the somewhat, uh, quiet return of Fort Worth’s Tame … Tame and Quiet, one of the best post-punk bands ever to emerge from North Texas, the equally kickass Stumptone is back. The Chris Plavidal-led quartet will play its first full-band show in over a year on Thursday at Lola’s Saloon with OKC’s Helen Keller Skelter, Dallas’ Trái Bo, and Cleburne headliners Igneous Grimm. (Cover is $6.)
For a lot of underground music-loving Fort Worthians, Stumptone is just a question mark. But, trust me, back in the day (the early-to-mid-aughts), Plavidal, guitarist Frank Cervantez, multi-instrumentalist/backing vocalist Peter Salisbury, and drummer Mike Throneberry were pumping out some of the loudest, most melodic psychedelic rock in the state. Check out the band’s sophomore album, 2008’s Gravity Suddenly Released, via Bandcamp for a refresher. Plavidal attributes Stumptone’s “tectonic” recording and performing pace to the usual hindrances (day jobs, family, life) but is ready to make Stumptone, if not a full-time project, then at least a part-time one.
He and his bandmates are fueled by the fall release of their third album –– which they started recording three years ago. As with Gravity and the band’s self-titled 2000 debut, Adventures in Magnetism is co-produced by the band and Dave Willingham at The Echo Lab, the Argyle studio that Willingham co-owns with Matthew Barnhart and Centro-matic’s Matt Pence. Willingham was Plavidal’s one and only choice. The two have been working together for nearly 20 years.
“We’re good friends and are on the same page as far as what the sound should be,” Plavidal said. “Plus, Dave and I have always used Stumptone projects to really push boundaries. We get very experimental, purposely break and warp rules, and really push it. Dave contributed a massive amount to our new recordings, and, really, the weird effects and washes of sound he created [in the studio] are like having a fifth freaky member of the band.”
Adventures in Magnetism will be released digitally and on vinyl only.
Plavidal, who has been performing solo a lot lately, said the Lola’s show will probably be his band’s only one this summer, “so it’ll be a rocker.” Stumptone, he added, is approaching every concert as a blank canvas: “My goal is for our live show to become something much more organic and unique from show to show … . Keeps it fresh and evolving.”
Recordings by a 20-year-old project, the Stumptone-esque MK Ultra, are part of a series of special releases that Plavidal will put out this year and will be for sale during the Lola’s concert. Along with new material, Stumptone is working on more gigs, including one in Fort Worth next month.
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