steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Weightless" CD

Basement Tape Records

Genre: indie pop, lo-fi

Aug 14 2008

At just under eighteen minutes, Weightless is a short album but certainly an interesting one from this Seattle-based indie pop group. Ostensibly a trio, Stuporhero is comprised of Jen and Will who provide instrumentation and frequently-harmonized vocals, as well as a vaguely disconcerting plastic mannequin who is advertised as their drummer. These goofy antics handsomely set up the band's unconventional approach to pop music, characterized by lo-fi recording ethics and fragmented but pretty songs. There are many moments on Weightless that beg to be hummed along to. Lushly endearing poppers “Cyclops” and “What Do You Wanna Be,” as well as spacey “Colliding,” show the Stuporhero formula at its finest: rich in immediately infectious hooks, and briskly to the point. Sadly, certain other songs don’t strike the listener quite as sweetly: opening opus “Deception Pass/Weightless” is hardly the disc’s most memorable moment, while skeletal “Cloudshine” has a nice trumpet/vocal bit but overall seems undirected. Meanwhile, Wild Love-era Smog-esque “Light at the End of the Night” is an interesting experiment, although ending the disc with a reverse version of the opener amounts merely to fluffy gimmickry.

Despite its pitfalls, however, the surprising truth is that Weightless is a remarkable artifact from a market of self-released pop that is saturated in mediocrity. And, quite generously, the band is offering it as a completely free download from their website, a refreshing reaction to the global movement towards digital music proliferation. Stuporhero may have rough edges, but they choose to revel in them, and this disc ends up fragmented but all the better for it. Although not flawless, this album is certainly worth a download – just skip the last track.

stuporhero's myspace


youuuuuuuutube!: "zombies on parade" video (from stuporhero's last album)

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, 17:52, distributed free online by the band, released 2008]