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Lord Sterling
Today`s Song for Tomorrow
July 2004
Released: 2004, Small Stone Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Not the type of band that you’d expect to come out of the maligned state of New Jersey, Lord Sterling are a truly bizarre band, here to peddle their latest spaced-out mind-trip disc. Having existed since 1995 and put out 2 albums and an E.P. before this, the band have definitely paid their dues and learnt the ropes by touring with some of the best sludge-rockers around (The Melvins and Monster Magnet to name two). As such, their sound is an unholy mix between the aforementioned touring partners and the trippiest moments of the vast Pink Floyd catalogue (I guess that their love for Floyd is obvious, given the dead-on cover of “Set Controls for the Heart of the Sun”).

Somehow the band manages to make a fairly cogent record out of the various disparate elements, albeit a flawed one. The album begins with three of the most vicious rock songs you’re likely to hear this year (outside of the equally mean-spirited-in-sound The Glasspack). The band combines big rock riffs with an ethereal Middle Eastern vibe (courtesy of Rob Ryan’s sitar) to create a sound that they can truly call their own. Add in some pissed-up Henry Rollins-like vocals and some spaced-out sound effects, and you’ve got something that sounds about as close to original as you can hope for.

Unfortunately the band loses the script somewhat on the quieter songs, such as “Thread Will Be Torn” and “Evaporate”. I appreciate the need for dynamics and shading on an album, but these songs just bore me with their constant droning and repetition of simple phrases. And don’t even get me started on the 11+ minutes of “Set Controls…”.

As it is though, the band has definitely hit on something that they can proudly call their own, and the majority of the album is fantastic. Fans of 70s music should certainly consider Lord Sterling as one of their required listens of 2004.
Track Listing

1) Pivotal Planes
2) This Time It’s For Real
3) Hidden Flame
4) Thread Will Be Torn
5) Password
6) Poison Lips
7) Evaporate
8) Tough Times For The Troubadours
9) Today’s Song For Tomorrow
10) Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Lineup

Jim Bagliano: Bass, Moog, Baritone Guitar, Echoplex
Robert Ryan: Vocals, Electric Sitar, Harmonium, Shenai, Percussion
Mike Schweigert: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar, Moog, Percussion
Jason Silverio: Drums

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