Early goth overtones, proto-shoegaze allure and raw DIY production have informed this incredible collection of songs. With themes ranging from love and loss to science fiction as well as flora and fauna, Chicago’s Staring Problem give us their strongest work to date in celebration of their and Modern Tapes’ 10th year not only in collaboration but in existence.
Our take: Debut LP from this Chicago band that released their first cassette way back in 2010. It’s clear that Staring Problem takes a lot of influence from the Cure circa Seventeen Seconds and Faith—they even cover “M” from Seventeen Seconds on Eclipse—but they give us their own spin on the sound. On Eclipse’s first few tracks Staring Problem takes that gloomy Cure aesthetic and gives it a punky jolt, upping the tempo and putting emphasis on the bright, sing-song-y vocals. The singer reminds me of Cassie from Vivian Girls, and if you’re a fan of that band’s dreamy, upbeat punk-pop, you should give Staring Problem a listen. Ditto if you’re into another semi-recent, Cure-influenced group, Siamese Twins, who are a little more on the nose than Staring Problem but in the same vein. I like bands in this style who emphasize pop melodies over atmosphere, and Eclipse is right in that sweet spot.