Shudder to Think – Ten Spot

ARTIST: Shudder to Think  R-1190054-1199529322.jpeg
TITLE: Ten Spot
YEAR RELEASED: 1990
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Jade-Dust Eyes
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you collected the Dischord catalog.
LINEUP: Craig Wedren, Stuart Hill, Chris Matthews, Mike Russell
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: STT’s first Dischord record has some definite good to great moments, but seems a little restrained and the songs tend to run together. Still, there are good moments where Wedren’s idiosyncratic vocals and lyrics stand out.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first Dischord record for the art punk band Shudder to Think has some high points. The first few cuts are enticing to the listener, with Wedren’s unique voice and art-damaged lyrics setting a great tone.

The last cuts on the album also have some excitement to them. The issue is the middle of the album. It seems that STT is in a rut there. Yes, they’re still a young band trying to find themselves, but it seems that many of the middle cuts on this album have the same basic sound, structure and vocal melodies. They’re really hard to discern one from another. Wedren also doesn’t hit his high vibrato as much as he can or should.

This isn’t peak Shudder to Think, where Wedren’s freak flag flies and the band plays in many different styles and colorations. This is competent and decent arty oddball punk.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Jade-Dust Eyes was released on a split single with a song by Unrest.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: It was part of a two-fer with an EP, but for streaming they separated themselves.

GRADE: B+: Some of this holds the listener, but some of this just lets the listener go. Individually the songs are good, but the sequencing of similar songs in the middle is a little problematic for me.

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