The ACBs


Start conditioning yourself.  Disregard album art and track or band names.  Listen to the music and make your decision to move on or invest in a band off the music only.  I woke up today with a slew of mp3s and album reviews I wanted to write about/post, but was swiftly interrupted by a tweet from the wonderful band SSLYBY.  The tweet was simple: "I think you will love this album (bandcamp link)."  

I clicked the link and was immediately turned off by the album art, the album name "Stona Rosa" (Surfer Rosa???), and track names like "Street Fighter II".  It just seemed like amateur hour.  But this is not an art competition, it's about the music, so I clicked play on the first track and was blown away.  This is pure indie rock, a wormhole of sound bringing my ears back to the days of Pavement, The Pixies, early Of Montreal, and Portishead.  I haven't heard indie rock sound so uninhibited and planted in the early concepts of the genre like this (in The ACBs) since the wonderful Aqueduct record "I Sold Gold"(2005).  The sound on the new ACBs album "Stona Rosa" is raw and driven by the marriage of traditional rock instruments that bounce off each other.  It feels weird writing this, but it's refreshing to have a lead singers vocals up front and untouched by layers and layers of effects.  Flawlessness is often times boring and it's bands like The ACBs that embrace the garage band (not the program) sound without sacrificing any aspect of their final product.  

Track after track, The ACBs present some of the best music I've heard all year.  The immediate take away is that these guys are clever songwriters.  The indie rock sound is coming up on two decades now and it's hard for bands to separate themselves from the greats that came before and even more difficult to shift away from the new artists and bands that are scrambling to fit into new subsections of indie rock.  The ACBs seem blissfully unaware of the musical trends of the last five years and the listener prospers with "Stona Rosa".  This album was like taking a shower after months of being dirty.  All the bullshit buzz outside the actual music that bands/artists use today to get attention washed down the drain and The ACBs remain as a reminder that great music trumps all.


  1. Heh, this here is an IDEAL band name and album art, which is to say, the band name is easy to understand and the cover art displays both the band and album title on the front.

    This is how it should be.

  2. Two tracks in and already loving it.

  3. Been listening to these guys for over a year since I saw them open for SSLYBY in Springfield MO. I've since made several trips to KC to check them out. Good guys, those ACB's

  4. Really enjoying this; Thanks Zach and SSLYBY!

  5. The name may be a play on words regarding a shopping area in North KC called Zona Rosa.