The Stunning: Split 7" single with the Means

The Stunning
Split 7" single with the Means

Looks aren't always that deceiving. I wondered if it was possible to enjoy local noise punks the Stunning without the accompanying visuals, namely, a vocalist who spends enough time on the floor to wipe the Entry clean before last call. Singer Chris Besinger's histrionics are enhanced by a couple of caterwauling guitars so deeply entwined you'd need a crowbar to pry them apart. And then there's the general absurdity of not knowing whether you're observing the band or part of their happening. The Stunning's debut, a split 7-inch with Columbus, Ohio's the Means, is nearly as much fun. Here--in less time than it takes to read the track title, "I held it; for an instant, I knew what it was...and then it was vanished"--those wall-of-sound guitars appear (no bass), along with a marching band's sticks and cymbals, and a spittle of non sequiturs about "giant trash cans" and "something crashing into the ceiling." The other Stunning track, "We Keep It Dark," mistakes U.S. Maple for Motörhead, and with rowdy feedback punctuated by Chris Besinger's throaty yelps, the Stunning turn a headbanger's ball into an instant pop hit.

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