Stingray UK – Requested Material

Stingray UK
Requested Material

Stingray UK is the type of band that wears their influences on their sleeve, but at the same time somehow manage to carve their own niche in the well-traveled pop/rock waters. Nothing about Requested Material is wholly original. One can pick out The Pixies, Husker Du, and, especially, Jawbreaker-type songwriting in many of the tracks on the album. If nothing else, the band at least has a good talent pool to learn from. These bands are the forerunners and masters of this particular sound. While Stingray UK does not delve into new territory on this record, they do bring together their array of influences to create a solid and well-written rock record, which is something to say these days.
One of the main things that stands out about the album is the singing. The vocals are velvety smooth and stand out nicely over the sometimes predictable song structures. This is one of the main aspects of the band that sets them apart from other second generation Jawbreaker wanna-be’s.
“Less Than Greek” starts the record off in a nice way with Jawbreaker-type riffs topped with smoothly sung vocals. The riffs flow nicely into the choruses, and everything is nicely held together with solid playing by each member of the band. The best thing about this track is the energy it has. There is something of an urgency here, and the playing and vocals both reflect that feeling. On the other hand, “Man in the Planet” slows the pace down a bit and is a semi-lazy sounding song. Everything fits together, but something is amiss. It could be the lyrics or the pacing or a combination, but the song sounds a bit awkward.
“Pretty Streamer” is a pretty song that sounds a bit like old Radiohead. The vocals are, again, very well done. The guitar work is nice as it moves back and forth between power chord riffs and intricate picking. This nice guitar work continues with the acoustic “One in a Million.” This is one of the best tracks on the record and makes one long for an unplugged version of the album as the vocals and song writing come together at their bare-bones core and the results are very well done.
Overall, Stingray UK offers a nice blend of modern pop/rock that is on one hand a Jawbreaker-type retread and on the other hand a splendidly well-written version of that tried and true formula.