Ah, good old-fashioned hard-edged indie guitar rock. On their 3rd full-length CD, Columbus, Ohio's The Stepford Five (of whom there are 4, so they've got one up on Ben Folds Five) play it consistently heavy, but with a great amount of variety. There's something here for all kinds of heavy-guitar fans: melodic anthems, mid-tempo riffage, and bursts of Helmet-style metallic math-rock or chiming, discordant guitars a la Sonic Youth. There are also some tuneful embellishments like a cello here and a vocal harmony there. Singer-guitarist Keith Jenkins' voice is appropriately hoarse and weighty, and the rhythm section drives solidly through varying tempos and time signatures. The production overall is clean and immediate, a couple of the songs having been recorded live in the studio.
On a personal level this didn't resonate with me as much as it might have, say, 11 years ago, so I don't think it will make it into regular rotation on Radio Mike, but if this is your sound then this well-done album is definitely a worthy addition to your library. (mike.08.04)