REVIEW: So Stressed – “Hype Sticker”
by Chad Jewett
It says everything you need to know about So Stressed that their new single, “Hype Sticker” is simultaneously as furious as the most bombastic first-generation hardcore while also immediately begging the question “What the hell time signature is this in?!” The Sacramento trio had already delivered a brilliantly cubist deconstruction of modern punk on The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art, their wholly essential 2015 LP. But where those songs largely took their time to break apart hardcore’s root components and turn them into surprising, sidewinding bursts (as on the expansive, multi-sectional five minutes of “Covered In Hair”), “Hype Sticker” — which clocks in at 1:25 — does all of that work in roughly one-third the time. But the details and the giddy surprise remain the same: everything still hits at odd angles, and So Stressed somehow still find the time to deliver a late-arriving left turn when the song, at the 1:05 mark, manages to pivot through a more steady skate-punk trot AND a self-consciously metal half-time breakdown. “Hype Sticker,” which takes up the A-Side of a new 7” to be released through Ghost Ramp, thus becomes a model of efficiency; a thrilling 85 seconds that finds So Stressed challenging themselves to see just how many art-core calories they can pack into a single bite.