Picture of Stretcher


Stretcher - Stretcher ©2000 Self-Released
1. (untitled)
2. The Baptist
3. Don't Ask
4. Ugly Truth
5. F
6. Pacified
7. Dream Myself Awake
8. To You From Me
9. Leash
10. Pay
11. (untitled)

I've always been leary of bands who send elaborate, pretty promo packs that include stickers, shiny folders and other trinkets while the CD itself is without a cover or any adornment whatsoever. New York's Stretcher got the eye of wariness with their self-titled, self-released full length disc. Luckily the band is at least good enough to avoid fingerpointing for having a promo pack that is much prettier than either themselves or their music. But that is not to say I think any member of the band is all that pretty. And in fact, I think I'm losing track of where this review is going...

While the band's bio uses the word "Nu-metal", don't let that tag create a world of disdain for this outfit. Rather, their style has more to do with Tool's form of songwriting mixed with a taste of grunge and vocals very reminiscient of Chris Cornell on the higher pitches. And Stretcher is not stretching to incorporate these influences and their resulting sound is comes across as natural and unforced. The songs all contain a healhty amount of thick, distorted crunch as well as enough groove to keep them from growing mold. The one knock they have is that the songs tend to blend together and are a bit more interchangeable than one might desire. There are differences between the individual tunes but at the same time they tend to usually approach them with similar songwriting ideas. A little more depth and width would benefit Stretcher immensely.

For a self-released album, this affair has both good sound and enough appeal to fans of perhaps the early 90s grunge era mixed with some sensibilities of the aforementioned Tool to warrant investigation at the band's website. Stretcher still has a way to go before they will be slaying audiences en masse, but as far as initial efforts go, this is respectable.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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