What are Stan? Well, although they're a rock band in the best classic sense, there aren't really ready comparisons. The adjective 'raw' conjures up some of the power and excitement of their sound but fails to convey the tight musicianship. 'Balls' should definitely be in there somewhere but so also should 'melodic' and virtually every one of their numbers will be burning it's way inside your subconscious after a couple of listens. I overheard someone describe them as 'Crowded House on Steroids' and that gets close, but doesn't do them full justice. They're way more interesting than that. When the set kicks off with 'Shout', the tone is set for the rest of the night. It's not their most sophisticated number but no-one with vital functions can fail to be stirred by it's relentless energy and power and the irresistible punching chant of it's chorus. I don't remember the title of every number but there's not a duff one among them. The style varies from powerful ballad through rock anthem to flat-out, shaken 'n' stirred, volume 11 hammerblow. 'Hey You' is such a song, but even that retains the band's melodic signature. Then there's the stunning 'I Just Can't Take It', where Portishead (minus the little twat that makes the scratchy sound with the turntable) meets late-60s Peter Green, a beautiful brooding number, latent power just straining to get out before finally being given it's head. Not so much power-pop as power-soul. An adjective I forgot about was 'balance'. Although each member is individually superb- the singer with voice smelted from velvet and steel, the soulful but understated lead guitar, the thumping, resonating and deadly accurate bass, the driving powerhouse drums- there are no overt displays of virtuosity, the sound is always in equilibrium. And the harmonies sound great too. Stan, like all the great rock bands, have perfected the trick of sounding tuneful without being heavy-handed and leaden. If the right person ever gets to hear them, you'll wish you'd taken the opportunity of seeing them when you still could. Mark Hughes "...Stan know the insides of a good tune when they see one. A classic four-piece they're not content to just trundle out any old nonsense and dress it up with over enthusiastic playing. No, they allow these songs to breathe and run their natural course without any unnecessary window dressing. Opener, "You Gotta Believe" sets a stompin' pace and is swiftly followed by the fellow toe-tapper "Outta Here". They show their more tender side in the beautiful ballad "Believe", which is pared down to the bone, but the gently lilting melody is all it needs to make it a beautiful song. Other stand outs include "Lies" which gets it's foot to the floor and even chucks in a bit of harmonica and "Magicola", a fittingly flag waving climax. Well worth seeking out." The Crack Stan are currently recording new material for release in Summer 2007.