In 2013, drummer Elliot Dicks (formerly of the Thrill Jockey recording artists Nerves and Rome) decided to come out of semi-retirement after hearing the grungy, garage-inspired songs that John Huston (the Pawners’ Society, the Grackles) had been stockpiling. Things quickly started sounding good. They decided they needed a bass player. Enter Liz Bustamante (noise&light, Spouse). The trio began rehearsing, writing new songs together and performing live.
Come late 2014 they began recording in Huston’s Chicago basement, in what a previous owner had turned into a fortified firearms-and-ammo locker. The band calls it The Gun Room. Bustamante (a former WBEZ engineer and audio aficionado) and Dicks (a touring soundman for bands like Tortoise, The Sea & Cake and Shellac) each have an impressive arsenal of microphones that they meticulously arranged to capture the band’s sound.
The trio’s songwriting blends ‘60s garage, ‘70s heavy riff-rock, ‘80s underground fuzz-pop and ‘90s grunge. It’s loud and raw and honest. Huston sings, Bustamante harmonizes.
Mixed by Matt Engstrom of Caffeinated Recordings
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering
Front cover by Seth Tucker
Back cover by Dmitry Samarov
"No ballads, no weepy tunes, just frenetic garage rock with plenty of detours into punk, stoner, grunge, noise-rock and even metal." - Hellride Music
"[S]ounds like Mudhoney and Material Issue got hot and heavy on a pile of cassette tapes and flannel shirts." - Midwest Action
“[On] the first track off of Air by the Ton, [Stomatopod] lay down a chunky, driving rhythm topped off with dissonant harmonies from Huston and Bustamante, then ramp it up and bring it down with a classic quiet-loud-quiet dynamic structure. Stomatopod aren't reinventing the wheel here, but that's not the point—they're doing what they do best, and they're really great at it. And, self-engineered by the three audiophiles that make up the band, it sounds really great too.” - Chicago Reader
To See and Breathe
The Holy Ghost
We Built the Bomb
Enemies of Everything
The Building with the Tallest Ledge
Air by the Ton