Review: So Stressed – The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art

So Stressed is at their wit’s end, and they’re not afraid to let you know just how they feel. After a meticulous 2 year writing process, they’ve created their ideal LP, and are ready to unleash The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art to the masses.

Vehement disgust is the very heart of this album. From the fuzz of the guitars, to the exhausted screams, it almost seems like every piece of the recording is there against it’s will. “Lisps” repetitive beat, and venomous progression comes off like fed up knocks on a locked door, before self destructing into ever increasing lows until an aftershock of the blast is the only thing discernible. Antsy drumming gives “Apple Hill” a beautifully crooked backbone, while the disgruntled guitar solo veers aimlessly to crescendo. There’s not a whole lot to the music, but through some well thought out dissonant chords, and quick, off-beat drum fills, So Stressed make themselves at home amidst the fury.

Lyrically speaking, this album is charmingly earnest in a cathartic sense, complementing the frustrated growl of the instruments to a T. Front man, Morgan Fox, seems to be getting quite a bit off his chest in a snotty, matter-of-fact manner. The self doubt on “Flirting With A Cop” is palpable – “I’ll knock your house down, but not on purpose. I won’t put it back together because they don’t know how. I’ll never learn. I’ll never learn anything about you.” While negativity is certainly a theme, some of the songs feature a jaded optimism, like “Cupcake Sister” – “So much family, maybe I’m trying to make up? I know I’ll kill your doubt because it’s almost dead. When it’s all done, I’ll have one more member. We could be together. Oh!, we could build a bridge; you’re somebody’s daughter.”

It’s not often that such a bare bones album achieves this level of greatness, but through patient planning, So Stressed have produced one of the ugliest examples of perfection in recent memory. A lot of bands can write something that sounds angry, but will fail at giving it any real substance. The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art is on the same level as a divorce: it’s pure, built up resentment that will catch you off guard, putting you in the same livid position, but you’ll probably be thankful for it in the long run.

Verdict – 4.5 out of 5 stars
For Fans Of – Code Orange Kids, Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I.
The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art comes out on May 26th through Honor Press.