Review: The Stay Lows – “The Red Budget”

It figures I’d find a record like this only after compiling all those obligatory year-ending top 10 lists. Where have these guys been hiding?

This majestic seven-song EP is everything you could ask for from a young post-rock quintet and then some. The album-opening “We’ll Give Them Their Shoes Back at The End,” where the glassy notes of a slowly accelerating crescendo begin to swell together like tides, is as captivating as most of what Godspeed You! Black Emperor put to magnetic tape. The moody epic “Requiem for Ventura Boulevard,” all emotive cello and roaring guitars, does Mogwai proud.

But, this Buffalo group’s also sharp enough to offset the sweeping and ambitious pieces with more accessible fare that’s just as riveting and carefully sculpted.

Case in point: the shoe-gazing pop rock of “That’s What You Get for Talking About Science,” the stitched-together playfulness of “The Zombies Have Laptops,” or the adrenaline-pumping refrains of “Shooting the Breeze With an Air Rifle.”

The closing “The Twin Peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro” aims to tear down the roof and, at times, feels like it’s close to succeeding.

High praise, indeed, for a quietly released EP. Now, if only I could edit those top 10 lists. – Punk Planet, May/June 2007

About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.


  1. It’s a little late, but I just noticed your kind review of our last e.p.
    I would love to send along a copy of our new album to you!
    Let me know if that’s something you would be into!

    The Stay Lows

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