As Aenone, Craig Sterns (vocals/guitar) and Kim Collister (guitar) — childhood pals from suburban Nyack, New York — played exquisite storm-pop. The quartet’s four-song EP is a translucent curtain of woolly distortion against which Sterns sings gently flowing melodies in a wispy high register that belies the skill of his technique and the quality of his voice. The brisk and breathtaking “Saints & Razors” is the catchiest song My Bloody Valentine neglected to write; Aenone attenuates the sonic attack on “Gaze” without undercutting its shapely appeal. The record’s only bum note is sounded — literally — on the out-of-tune “Celestia.”
Two years on, Sterns, Collister and Aenone bassist Bill Stair resurfaced in London as three-fourths of Nyack, a neat Teenage Fanclub-meets-the Jesus and Mary Chain electric pop band — still noise-friendly but lighter in atmosphere and standing less heavily on their distortion pedals. Sterns’ voice doesn’t have quite the same allure on 11 Track Player (which sports a red and green variation on the cover of Zipgun’s 1992 album, 8 Track Player), but the delicate consistency of his distinctive tunes — some of them (“I’m Your Star,” “Sunrise in My Head” and “Knumb,” formerly “Numb”) retrieved from the Aenone repertoire, if not the EP — carries the album, which on enhanced CD contains a nifty Nyack video scrapbook.
The group resurfaced in 1997 as Fork.