Stab-Outs - First Try (Cover Artwork)


First Try (2007)


Stab-Outs were a short-lived, three-piece street punk band that existed between roughly 2006 and 2008. They were formed by bassist Doug Wellmon who played with the now-defunct hardcore outfit Pipedown.

First Try was the only release this band put out before breaking up. It's only eight songs long, but it comes off as more of full-length-sans-filler than an EP, if that makes any sense. Basically, First Try is an incredibly tight 20 minutes of catchy-as-hell music that holds your attention throughout.

As with most bands of this genre, there are songs on here that can be described as up-tempo aural assaults with lyrics shouted over the top. While it's entertaining, it can get monotonous if overused, which is true for most things, really. The guys in Stab-Outs manage to avoid this by weaving some slower mid-tempo songs into the mix and even a bit of surf punk in songs like "New View."

Since Doug wrote all of the music with the exception of "Work or Play," the songs on here are mostly bass-driven. He lays down some absolutely sick bass lines (i.e."Fuck Big Business") throughout the record and almost every song incorporates a bass solo. This is not to say that guitarist Takeo doesn't get in his fair share of solos as well.

Despite being only a three-piece, every track on this record sounds huge -- credit this to additional guitar layering by Doug and mastering by Jason Livermore in the Blasting Room. In some songs, the squeaky clean production allows the band to make a great use of negative space by letting a single instrument carry the beat as everything else drops out. This technique is successful in giving the songs more depth and texture.

As far as the lyrics go -- yes, they're political, and yes, they're angry.

While they can be a bit simplistic at times, the lyrics do have an overall sincere quality to them, and if you're like me, you'll find yourself singing along to them as you air-drum on your steering wheel (or handlebars for you non-car drivers).

To sum up, if you like bass and you like your punk from the gutters (albeit dressed up and dusted off a bit), then you'll probably like this record. Pick it up.