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Stanton | Walking Songs (Tritone)
Everything possible has already been done before. Anything that can be said has already been spoken. All routes lead down already well-worn paths. Hardly the outlook of potential revolutionary rock gods, right? Unfortunately, such defeatist aspirations - according to most evidence here - appear to be the stuff that Stanton are made of. This roughly hewn debut album by the quartet wears its influences so visibly, so clearly, that it's impossible to hear without trying to identify the parts that have been taken from elsewhere. Lasting a little over thirty minutes, 'Walking Songs' contains fourteen mainly short, sharp blasts that owe so much to the likes of Fugazi, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Six By Seven and a whole raft of other angst-ridden alternative touchstones.

Betrayed by a foggy, unpolished production job, Stanton do have admirable passion and occasionally conjure up tunes that rise above being merely the sum of their parts. In such instances - as on the wounded, slow-burning 'Nonsense' - you fleetingly feel that Stanton are about to strike their own distinctive chord. And then somehow those vital sparks of inspiration, of imagination, just seem to drift away to burn more brightly elsewhere. There's little unexpected magic lurking here and only brief moments of mystery, almost as if Stanton were so busy listening to the over-powering voices of others, that they forgot to speak up for themselves. The sound of a young band trying to run through crowded fields in over-sized, muddy boots; a group writing 'Walking Songs' when they've still to master the art of crawling.

Ian Fletcher
January-February 2003