If you had to describe Sydney’s On The Stoop in one word then it would be manic. I don’t think I’ve heard another band quite like them. It’s an energy unlike anything. A dark one that pulses through each of their tracks. It’s the kind of music that would be played when the devil hosts a banquet. Twisted, crazy and it kicks up quite a fuss.
Anyone who has seen them live will testify to that. So upon hearing that the band have taken on the task of covering Bruce Springsteen’s State Trooper I won’t blame you for being taken aback. But dispel your disbelief and strap on a good pair of headphones, Sydney’s OTS have knocked it out of the park and into another plane of existence all together.
Sydney’s favourite gypsy cabaret troupe On The Stoop bring their crazy energy to The Boss with their manic take on State Trooper. It’s a high speed chase to give Bruce a run for his money.
Speaking to the conductor of On The Stoop Serge Stanley the choice to cover the song was a simple one. “I picked State Trooper because I like the tune and thought it could be an interesting thing to throw into the band. Something people wouldn’t expect, totally different from the previous material“, he explains. Now, if you’re not familiar with the original then quickly acquaint yourself. State Trooper is taken from Springsteen’s seminal 1982 album Nebraska. The synth inspired piece was recorded in one take in Springsteen’s home studio. The lo-fi drone is indicative of the character’s deteriorating mental state, in case the howls didn’t tip you off to the fact. In a note to Jon Landau Springsteen wrote “It’s kinda weird“.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/233231076″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Which brings us to On The Stoop. ‘Kinda weird’ is right up the band’s alley, and they run with it without hesitation. The band launch into their usual brand of fast-paced tunes, the guitars and drums racing at breakneck speeds which lends the track a new sense of urgency. If Springsteen’s original featured a man driving through fog and rain whilst constantly looking over his shoulder, then this is a high speed chase down the highway in broad daylight in 45 degree heat. It’s wild, gritty and has plenty of attitude.
Stanley’s vocals are really something else. He embraces his inner rock star and lets loose. Whilst the instrumental remains to be a rabid beast his vocals are cool and smooth, imbuing State Trooper with a sexy charm. Is this really the same song? Definitely not, and we’re not complaining in the slightest. If you have been on the fence when it comes to On The Stoop then this is the one that will win you over. The band are tight as hell, and whether you like it or not, will grab you by the collar as they tear down that motorway.