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STUCK - Change Is Bad LP

Born Yesterday

STUCK - Change Is Bad LP

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Includes d/l code.
Limited to 300 clear vinyl copies. 
Insert with lyrics. 
Highly recommended. 

A needling and sardonic post-punk / noise rock record about time, grief, and politics. Landowner was a big influence on the songwriting, as well as Lithics and Shellac. 

Equal parts atonal and contagious, Change Is Bad is caught in a cycle of time, grief, and transition, and Stuck are hitting the walls trying to stop it from spiraling out of control. To confront it, the band drew from a wide range of influences—Omni, Shellac, Landowner, video game glitches, speedrunning, and sci-fi book series Three Body Problems—that aren’t just namechecks. They’re influences you can actually hear in the music. Interweaving guitars on “Plank II” move gracefully despite their sharp edges. “Bells” barrels through machine gun drumming that never ceases fire. Wiry guitars duel for the spotlight on “Wrong Question” like they’re fighting for their lives. There’s a momentum and insight to it all that keeps you invested until the very end.

Stuck began as a side-project of Greg Obis. After touring nonstop in 2017 with indie rock band Clearance and listening to acts like Uranium Club and Frankie Broyles in the van, Obis wanted to try his hand at post-punk. The more songs he wrote, the more he realized his tracks veered off in jarring and incalculable ways. He quickly began looking for bandmates, ideally local musicians he had never worked with prior — a tricky feat given he contributes to Chicago’s music scene as both an artist (Yeesh, Clearance) and an audio engineer at Chicago Mastering Service. Eventually he solidified a lineup: bassist David Algrim (Gentle Heat), guitarist Donny
Walsh (Surveillance, Krozer), and drummer Tim Green (Furbie). Together, Stuck started
workshopping Obis’ material and found their stride writing collaboratively, releasing a
three-song demo in November 2018 and the tour tape People Pleaser in October 2019.

By the end of last year, Stuck had toured with Pile and sharpened the songs that would become their new full-length. By then, the album basically named itself. “Between 2017 and 2019, there were so many changes in my life,” says Obis, “and all of them were bad.”

Obis tragically lost his mother in 2015, Donald Trump was elected in 2016, his long-running band Yeesh disbanded in 2017, and his father passed away in 2018. For the first time in his adult life, he started going to therapy to process the excessive loss and grief in his life. With Stuck already in motion at that point, working through his emotions via lyrics became part of his healing process.

“I hate writing lyrics. It makes me self-conscious,” says Obis. “I tried to let the words come to me while recording because I already knew the topics and talked about them in therapy — which is why I definitely cried in the studio at one point.”

By undergoing personal therapy and examining the ways in which our brains process grief, Obis began seeing the lyric-writing process in a new way. Now when he heard stories like the Trump administration slashing funding for domestic funding programs on WNYC’s podcast On the Media, with a host emphasizing that people would die from this, he could translate the cyclical nature of politics, grief, and depression into tracks like “Plank II” and “Bug Song.” It just so happened that Obis could scream and wail while writing Change Is Bad, too. He embodies different voices not just throughout the album, but throughout a song, accentuating the manic spiraling of his lyrics in the vein of Daughters or mewithoutYou. His singing style transformed from an enunciated, crisp, melodramatic manner to an unhinged, manic, theatrical cleansing — a step-up from the austere talk-singing of most post-punk acts.

“Right before I started writing, I saw The Jesus Lizard at Metro. Seeing a 59-year-old guy run out into the audience screaming with every song was incredible. I wanted to channel as much David Yow as I could. It influenced the aesthetics of how I approached my style of playing,” says Obis. “When you’re onstage, you have to overact and deliver at 150% because only 75% is going to be communicated to an audience.”

Change Is Bad may be the first album you hear from Stuck, but it’s a record so knee deep in mental anguish, post-punk spirit, and profound sincerity that you can’t help but listen to it again.

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