Rarely today do we get to hear bands with a sound completely of their own. I can only think of a handful of bands that accomplish this: The Sound of Animals Fighting, Sigur Ros, Blood Brothers, etc. The list continues but is unfortunately clouded by larger, cluttered music scenes. Generic emo bands plague online communities like PureVolume and MySpace, making it difficult to sift through and find the gems that are truly worth recognition. Luckily, talented bands such as the Stiletto Formal are becoming front-page features of online music communities and getting the attention they deserve.
I remember when driving from Zack’s house with my best bud Andy a few months ago, he told me to check out this new band he heard online. I had heard the name Stiletto Formal before but chose to ignore it, unaware of the face-melting experience I was passing up. He played for me what is now my favorite track off the Masochism in the Place of Romance EP. I’d describe it as a soundtrack to the dance-hall apocalypse. Imagine a helicopter crash, and then throw in a cello and a sexy bass line. And some cowbell too. The Stiletto Formal sounds cacophonous enough to find place alongside bands such as the Fall of Troy or These Arms Are Snakes, while at the same time keeping a composure that should make them appealing to anybody with a good ear. The same goes for the vocals. Vocalist Kyle Howard is the closest I’ve ever heard to At the Drive-In/Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler. His voice can range from being sweet to going completely nuts.
It’s somewhat ironic that the Stiletto Formal has found place on the PureVolume “Far From the Lies” tour, opening for the very generic screamo acts (Greeley Estates, So They Say, et al.) that have stolen the attention of “emo kids.” Perhaps it is because of the popularity of these other bands that the Stiletto Formal is still unsigned. Nevertheless, it will only be a matter of time before the band finds its proper home in the hands of a label that is caring and involved with their music.
The Stiletto Formal – Black Tar Concubine The Stiletto Formal – The Mistress and the Matador