Stoj Snack – Life, Death and Everything in Between (TNS Records et al, 2020)

“The songs on this album seem to circle around family and relationships in the modern, societal structures and how we, the inhabitants of these systems, are affected by them. How the constant chase after validation, possessions and careers constantly diverge our attention from the people and moments that are the most important to us. And make us forget ourselves.”

It’s a hefty mission statement, and as this has been released on about 4,000 DIY labels across the world, you’d think one of them would have had access to a decent studio package. Don’t get me wrong I love DIY and I think the more bands can do it themselves the better, but the music production on this record is just lacking. It might be intentional, I’m not sure, but it’s a real shame as the vocals are great and sound great, which only makes it seem odder.

There’s a wealth of interesting instruments on here but they all seem to occupy the same little frequency range, it’s annoying because the songs are good and I imagine in the right setting this would be a phenomenal thing to listen to live. It’s really good, but this recording just sounds far too thin.

Once we’re past the sonic side of things, you’ve got a good record; folky, spirited and well written. Readers of these pages that like Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry etc. will probably really like it. However, I’m split on this. The songs themselves deserve at least a solid 8/10, but the production is going to bring it down to a 5/10 for me. It’s frustrating as it would probably otherwise get quite a few plays in my house.

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