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Stay Sharp - Four Songs (Cover Artwork)

Stay Sharp

Stay Sharp: Four SongsFour Songs (2008)
Monkey Wrench

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With the appropriately named Four Songs EP, Philadelphia's Stay Sharp show a ton of promise with ample amounts of passion and energy woven into their sound. It's a sound, by the way, that's been done and redone many times over, but when executed properly, this brand of anthemic East Coast hardcore i.
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With the appropriately named Four Songs EP, Philadelphia's Stay Sharp show a ton of promise with ample amounts of passion and energy woven into their sound. It's a sound, by the way, that's been done and redone many times over, but when executed properly, this brand of anthemic East Coast hardcore is reliably enjoyable. The frills are minimal here, and the boys in Stay Sharp keep it brief, hard-hitting and, well, sharp.

Pounding drums kick off "Winning Is Everything" in exciting fashion, leading into a chord progression that's straight outta D.C. circa `81, and Nick Hirschmann's vocals are clean and loud, his inflections full of conviction -- dude sounds an awful lot like Propagandhi's Chris Hannah. The call-and-response gang vocals toward the end of the song are a nice touch, giving it a live feel that would undoubtedly translate well on a stage. And its followup, "Hatfield of Dreams" is a bouncy tune anchored by a simple bass line and a refrain reminiscent of Kid Dynamite's more melodic moments.

At two minutes and 11 seconds, "Sign It" is the magnum opus of Four Songs, and its poppy mid-tempo base is a nice change-up from the fury of the previous two songs. The guitar parts are equally aggressive and melodic, and the gang "whoa-oh"s underneath everything are positively infectious.

"Charge the Mound" closes the EP impressively, continuing some of the melodic undertones found in "Sign It" that give the band and release much-needed depth. The poppy chord progression that kicks off the second part of the song isn't as jarring as it sounds, and the a capella gang vocals that end the song are tailor-made for screaming along: "No, this isn't me / This isn't who I'm supposed to be / I'm sure it's just a phase / I'm gonna fight it until I'm free."

It'll be interesting to see what Stay Sharp can do on a full-length, but with Four Songs these guys are off to a good start.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Alivethroughyou (March 26, 2013)

Everyonce in a while I remember that I own this and every single time that happens it makes my day. Sounds like all the best bits of Kid Dynamite, Good Clean Fun and Less Talk Era - Propagandhi. If they had ever go on to make a full length I feel certain that it would've gone on to be some sort of Org-core classic. Underappreciated.

danpib08 (September 2, 2008)

I love this band, I saw them with Paint It Black, Cloak/Dagger, & Lighten Up at Siren Records in Doylestown, PA. I missed their Party Mansion show. Hope they get picked up by a bigger label.

lostandclowned (September 2, 2008)

I like the record label's song.

signaldistress (September 2, 2008)

haven't actually heard the EP but got to opportunity to see these guys at a house show in Philly, they were awesome, a really good hardcore band.

inagreendase (September 2, 2008)

Not a bad EP. Reminds me of Good Clean Fun, especially the vocalist.

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