Album Review :
The Stiletto Formal - This Is My Boomstick (EP)

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Artist: The Stiletto Formal
Album: This Is My Boomstick (EP)
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: April 11, 2006
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. The Fall of Ambrose Bierce
2. Tastes Like Black Licorice
3. I Sing the Body Electric
4.Cirrhosis of the Cinema
A friend of mine once went to see Coheed & Cambria live. This tour consisted of Coheed, The Blood Brothers, and mewithoutYou, and everyday I grow a little more jealous that she made it to this show and I did not. Fortunately, though I have missed out on a night filled with the sounds of all three of these incredible bands, I may have just found a CD that somehow managed to be, to varying degrees, filled with the sounds of all three of these incredible bands. Best of all, it’s not a compilation. This is the Phoenix, Arizona based five-piece, The Stiletto Formal.

They capture the epic feel of Coheed, and maybe a little vocal styling influence from Claudio himself. At other moments The Stiletto Formal take a more raw punk rock energy with somewhat spastic tendencies and higher singing ala The Blood Brothers. The mewithoutYou influenced guitar and vocals parts are like mwY must have been that night as an opening act; despite a much shorter time, they’re good enough to leave a mark on the audience.

In the liner notes, it is stated, “Each song was written to be read as a short story.” These four tracks are in fact four short stories, and while they are separate, they are also closely interwoven. There is a central theme of deceit and in some cases adultery, such as the song “Tastes like Black Licorice,” with the lines “Ohh please, although you came here on his arm, I know you’re leavin’ here with me.” This Is My Boomstick takes a look at the darkness of sin and does little to uplift the listener, despite its occasional dance beats (“I Sing the Body Electric”). Kyle Howard’s lyrics are intelligently written and cohesive, shown by clever repetition of lines from previous songs on the record.

On top of all this, one member of The Stiletto Formal is Sunny Davis, whose role in the band is to play cello. At times it gets lost in the mix, but during the more epic songs like “The Fall of Ambrose Bierce,” it definitely is what pulls the feel together and completes the track. The Stiletto Formal appear to still be in the process of defining their sound, but what they’ve experimented with so far seems like a great start. While it is certainly not for everyone, their fan base is continually growing, and with good reason.

7/10

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