There’s something ironic about a Chomsky-lovin’ punk rock band signing to a major label. But I guess the logic behind it all is that it allows them to spread the word about the evils of capitalism, using the very system that oppresses the masses as a vehicle to enlighten them (how cunning).
Yet the real irony is that S.T.U.N., which stands for Scream Toward the Uprising of Non-conformity, is actually a very conventional punk rock band by today’s standards in both appearance and music. On their Geffen debut Evolution of Energy, this Los Angeles foursome does create caustic punk rock with dynamic hooks and scattered guitars…but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before.
While vocalist Christiane J. sputters pointed lyrics a la Johnny Rotten meshed with Perry Farrell, thought the songs were all written by guitarist Neil Spies, who was heavily influenced by leftist thinkers such as Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. In “Movement,” Spies writes a call to action: “The people that make the laws and rules for us / They don’t give a fuck about us / Our hearts are being bought / Our minds are being washed / We must interrupt.”
Though their lyrics seem sincere, S.T.U.N. would be taken more seriously as revolutionaries (both musically and socially) if their actions matched their words (meaning that I had better see Christiane J. at an anti-war protest instead of at the Emmys with his girlfriend, actress Alicia Silverstone). Whether S.T.U.N. will have as much as an impact as their politicized predecessors (such as a certain other L.A. quartet known by a four-letter acronym) is yet to be determined.