The notes in the liner for “8 x 12”” say that all the songs were written in 1995, over fifteen years ago. When “Nowhere” kicks into affect, the one thing that has to be said is that the track does not sound to be dated in the least. The production is great, allow9ing for each guitar line or drum hit to contribute equally for The Stitches. All of the eight tracks on this album are cut by The Stitches (no cover), and while the songs sound current, there is no denying that the band has a tremendous amount of 77 influence on them. There are hints of The Dickies and X strewn throughout this punk vibe, and the fire that starts off “Nowhere” can be heard in acts like Anti-Flag today.
When The Stitches go into ‘I Can’t Do Anything”, there seems to bea harder edge to the band’s composition that seems to be the major influence to acts on all of the current punk labels, whether it be TKO (or their imprint Vinyl Dog), BYO, Recess, or even the slightly rougher style of Rodent Popsicle and Profane Existence. Each of the songs on “8 x 12”” are quick, a number of which do not even get near cracking the two and a half minute mark. This gives the disc an urgency and a shortness that will drive listeners to repeat the album for a while, and then go out in search of other recordings by the band.
The first few tracks are where the band have their money shot; where songs like “Better Off Dead” are still catchy, it is really during these early tracks that the band saps listeners most successfully. During a song like “Better Off Dead”, the band’s drums really kick into play in regard to creating something that is different from the rest of the disc. It is the same way with “My Baby Hates Me”, where The Stitches allow the bass to determine what the band will do for two minutes. The disc burns out well before the twenty minute mark, but individuals will have some of the best minutes of their life when they put on “8 x 12””. This recording may be a few years old, but it still kicks the ass of pretty much any other punk band that is currently recording music. Pick this EP up and grab some other Stitches discs.
Top Track: Nowhere
The Stitches – 8 x 12” (CD)