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ASHLEY STOVE (Buy CDs by this artist)
4-Finger Moon (Jesus Christ) 1995
Songs of Soups and Stews EP7 (Amish) 1995
Into the Sun (Jesus Christ) 1997

After the break-up of Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Erectus Monotone, bassist Jennifer Walker moved on to form Ashley Stove with Ben Barwick and Matt Brown on guitars and Bill Alphin on drums. 4-Finger Moon is full of fast-tempo ballast, with Barwick handling most of the vocals. Discordance enters to some small degree on songs like "Schumaker" and "X-Ray Hipp," but the songs cling to driving rhythms and display plenty of energy. Into the Sun forgoes speed for a greater concentration on melody, and has a fitting tribute to "Crazy Train" at the beginning of "You Shouldn't Lie." In 1997, Barwick and Walker backed up Mac McCaughan for live Portastatic shows and played on that group's The Nature of Sap.

[Ben Goldberg]
This piece was first published in Badaboom Gramophone #3 and appears here with permission.