The Stops: Nameless Faces 12"

Dirt Cult Records

$10.50

These five women from Portland, OR play dark and melodic punk rock for fans of old school OC punk bands like The Adolescents as well as their hometown predecessors like The Wipers and The Observers. Absolutely essential.

Our take: It's been quite a while since we last heard from Portland's The Stops... their debut 7" on Residue came out way back in 2012, and I was honestly a little surprised that they were still going (though Discogs shows that they did release a cassette in 2014). Anyway, as with a lot of Portland bands you can practically hear the drizzle falling outside the recording studio as these tracks were being laid down... despite the punk tempos and volumes, this has that melancholy sound that Portland bands as diverse as the Wipers, Tragedy, and the Observers all seem to possess. Of those three bands the Observers (and, by extension, I suppose, Red Dons and Autistic Youth) are the Stops' closest musical cousins. Like those bands, the Stops take the melodic hardcore sound of classic bands like the Adolescents and give it that brooding Portland sensibility. They're also pretty sharp songwriters... these songs are chock full of really interesting changes and dynamics between the two guitar players. They may not have Douglas from Observers / Red Dons' ability to write a stadium-sized hook, but honestly the Stops are probably the better for it as it spreads the attention over all of the interesting little subtleties in these songs rather than just focusing it all on one big hook. Nameless Faces is an understated punk record and for that reason I imagine it'll fly under a lot of people's radars, but fans of the aforementioned bands will find a lot to love here.
Tags: 10s female-fronted melodic punk recommended