The Stick Figures: Archeology

For its first release ever, new reissue label, Floating Mill Records, broke out with a loud bang. Tampa's The Stick Figures had the potential to become enormous as heroes of the early post punk years, although fate had different plans for them.

The band's first and only self-titled EP was splendid; and eccentric, yet, not extreme take on the genre, with fantastic instrumentation which pointed at their contemporaries such as Orange Juice, The Buzzcocks, and Pylon, and even went as far as hinting at other genres and the groove of Parliament/Funkadelic. From the opening lines of N-Light it was made clear that The Stick Figures were not an average alternative band. The coming of age/back to school-themed September shows every indication of a band which grasps the heart and soul of its generation, and a piece which could had easily become the group's signature had things turned toward a more prosperous direction. 

Beyond the four songs which made The Stick Figures a beloved post punk obscurity, Archeology
comes to corroborate that there was more to what they had to offer. Enhanced with unreleased studio and live recordings, this indispensable anthology is a serious contender for being the Reissue of the Year, with every single piece of the bonus material being undoubtedly up to par with the previously issued tracks. The heady Energy and Everplayed, the rather concise Mr. Simon, the boisterous Yesterday, they all could have made a terrific follow up to the band's first EP. Additionally, the live ones, Language and Screaming, showcase a vibrant and bold band, ready to erupt.

Between the lo-fi rawness of The Velvet Underground, the blunt sophistication of The Fall and the authoritativeness of Television, The Stick Figures could stand as equals if it just comes down to quality, imagination and execution. Forty years later, they are still a band waiting to be largely discovered, but that doesn't discredit the spirit of their music in any way.

Band photo courtesy of Floating Mill Records

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