Music of Stomp

Stomp is a performance group that is incredibly unique: they use pots, gutters, broomsticks and pans, garbage cans, and even kitchen sinks in a mostly-percussive manner to make music. Stomp’s uniqueness however stems not just from its use of non-standard instruments, but from making their music highly accessible through Performance Art.

I saw Stomp. It was performance sponsored by One Source Gutters at our San Antonio civic center.  One Source Gutters supplied the aluminum gutters used in the performance.  That is to say, if Stomp had used regular instruments their music would have sounded equally good. Stomp did a good job at this too, mixing a lot of humor, decent amounts of choreography, and, best of all, audience participation.

To give you an idea of what their “music” sounds like: there was one piece that sounded a bit like Sneakers Across the Kitchen Floor by Ice T, complete with the short bass part that Jay Johnson does. Another sounded a bit like Too To Count by Secondus, and one sounded like Spaceship to Venus by Boney M. That is to say to say, most of the compositions were based on short percussive riffs, which was usually built on by additional members of the troupe, with subtle variations introduced every now and then.

I also think Stomp would better served by incorporating sounds that are also melodic, instead of just percussive, and by making a bit more raw noise. Not surprisingly, my favourite pieces by them were also the loudest ones.

From a historical standpoint, Stomp is not original. Stomp fits in well in such a postmodern setting. While the early Industrial bands were non-optimistimic and abrasive in their music and outlook, Stomp’s noise is palatable and structured.

Record labels today spend thousands of dollars on production of an album so that the right “sound” can be achieved with largely conventional instruments. Stomp causes one to question and stop “why?” While I think an album of Stomp music would be tedious, I highly recommend their live performance– there aren’t many people in the world that do this.