Release Date: September 3, 2021
Format: Digital & Physical
Location: Denver, Colorado
Favorite Tracks: Heartsick, Lovestuck, Classwar, So, Brother (Stalemate mix), Sugarcane (Remix), Papa Tells me and Fauxhawk
Sounds Like: Bad Religion, Descendants, Thrice, Flatliners, Sunset Silhouette, Shell Corporation, Propagandhi, and Against Me!
It’s spooky season here at Colorado Punk Rock Army. All of our admins are wearing their Halloween gear and listening to nonstop local punk rock albums. I decided I’d give Poor Me’s latest release, “Stalemate” a spin. So the big question remains is “Stalemate” a trick or treat?
The first track is “Heartsick” . It starts off slowly like a nightmarish lullaby. It quickly goes from zero to hundred in mere milliseconds. Per the band’s website this song is about moving on from an unforgettable past. Next is my absolute favorite track on the album, “Lovestruck”. This track is a tribute to Denver punk rock legend Johnny Bender. I’ll never forget where I was the night I heard Johnny passed. This beautiful tribute is so fitting for anyone who’s suffering the loss of a loved one.
“So, Brother” (Stalemate Mix) follows and originally appeared on the band’s 2018 “Sugarcane” release. This new remix version hits harder with heavier chords and Delany’s sometimes gutter-like vocals. I have always loved the lyrics of this track.
“Let’s sacrifice it all. There wasn’t much for saving.
We’re welcoming your tired eyes – we’ll give you back your sight.
Although you’re broken, you still dissent?
So brother, why aren’t you changing? The truth is bright.
We share all the answers to fear the night.”
“Sugarcane” (Stalemate Remix – Originally appeared on “Sugarcane”) follows and this track seems much heavier than its counterpart. The gang vocals seem more polished. The drums and melody seem more powerful and yet the track still sends a great message. My third favorite track is up next and is called “Class War”.
Honestly if I didn’t know this song was by Poor Me I would have to guess it was by Propagandhi or The Shell Corporation. This track is an absolute killer. We all know how divisive the last 5 years have been. It sure does not appear to be getting better anytime soon.
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“Papa Tells Me” (Stalemate Mix – Originally appeared on “Sugarcane”) is up next and has a strong message. As sons and daughters, we are always living in our parents’ shadows. Of course, this isn’t always a bad thing, but sometimes there’s so much pressure put on the child’s shoulder even at a very young age. The first child is usually considered a “Golden Child”. The one child to change the family’s name in the social and political circles. I for one can easily identify with this track.
This version again destroys the former with more emphasis on a heavier sound edging the fine line between punk rock and hardcore. The track reminds me of something you would put on in a grungy rock bar before racking up the pool cues. “Mistakes Can Be Made” (Stalemate Mix – Originally appeared on “Sugarcane”) is up next. Pick up your air guitar and play along. The guitar is perfect for skatepunk fans and accompanies the vocals like magic.
“I gave up on God and called for the nurse – a daydream had startled me.
That smile on your face may never return to me.
I couldn’t lie there and wait.
I guarantee in this life that mistakes can be made.
Guaranteed to challenge myself – but I can’t commit to a change.
Or maybe I’ll quit – I can’t commit to a change.”
“Strawman” is a brand-new track and it hits home. We fill ourselves up on so much crap to make us whole. This song is a little slower than some of the former tracks, but it can probably still manage a decent and fun circle pit. It will make you start to question life and it’s meaning.
“Fauxhawk” brings in an energetically charged political message questioning organized religion and the church’s intention. Even though it has a super deep meaning. This song is so much fun! Maybe it’s the melody or or the chorus, but this track makes me wanna dance.
Well, we have arrived at our final track, “Perpetrators (Stalemate Mix – Originally appeared on “Sugarcane”. I have loved this song since “Sugarcane’s release. This version is so much stronger. You can feel the blood, sweat and tears pumped into the bass, the drums, guitar and vocals. You’re likely to bust a vocal chord by trying to match Delaney’s vocal styling.
Overall is “Stalemate” a trick or treat? Well it’s absolutely amazing on all fronts. The best part is feeling the impressive tempo changes and powerhouse of energy. With tracks like, Heartsick, Lovestruck, Class War, Papa Tells Me, and Strawman one is sure to keep this record spinning. I’m giving a ”Stalemate” my vote in CPRA’s Best Of 2021 Local Albums list”. See Poor Me with Cheap Perfume and Reno Divorce this Saturday (10/30/2021) at The Marquis Theatre for Stalemate’s album release party!
Track List (Per Bandcamp)
- Heartsick 03:18
- Lovestruck 03:13
- So, Brother (Stalemate Mix) 02:18
- Sugarcane (Stalemate Mix) 02:54
- Classwar 03:02
- Papa Tells Me (Stalemate Mix) 03:20
- Mistakes Can Be Made (Stalemate Mix) 03:05
- Strawman 03:17
- Fauxhawk 03:05
- Perpetrators (Stalemate Mix) 04:15
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