Single Review – Upping Sticks by Thousand Yard Stare (2021) (Self released)
Back in the early 90s, when I was a London based university student yet to embark upon life’s journey of failed career goals and the ravages of being all responsible and ‘adulty’, I used to be pretty obsessed with the Slough based act, Thousand Yard Stare, who used to gig with frequency all around London and released two albums in Hands On (1992) and Mappamundi (1993).
However, they had already made their mark by then, with a series of singles and EP’s that kept the most in the know of indie-chic students huddled around cassette tapes (before they became trendy again) and preciously guarding vinyl 7″ singles (before they became trendy again).
These releases tended to a glorious mix of wall of sound guitars that flirted slightly with shoegaze, whilst at the same time allowing sumptuous jangled melodies to simper to the top of the general cauldron of noise.
27 years later, Thousand Yard Stare suddenly returned in 2020 with a The Panglossian Momentum album that did not disappoint in terms of quality, unless of course you were a young ‘un in the early 90s and hankered after an original sound that had now been largely replaced with a modernity that was all experimental pop and perfectly imperfect twisted aural textures. It was an album full of tracks resplendent in the same vobe as the b-side of this release, The Candle Theme is.
However, for a now 50-something like me, the Upping Sticks a-side, takes me back to the mosh-pits of various London dives, that were redolent with heavy smoke plumes, smells of funny cigarettes, avoiding vomit piles as you thrashed about to their balls to the wall sounds. Eventually you left all of their gigs drenched in beer, sweat and purple through the exertion of it all.
Sounds awful, I know and I am sure my knees would not handle it these days…but they were the happiest of times and this track / band bring that energy back for me.