Every now and then I am going to review an obscure, rare, or under appreciated piece of music that can be found in discount racks or elsewhere for dirt cheap. Think of these as Amazon steals (but nothing illegal), complete with personal notes or cool background info.

This first one I’d like to share is Heartbreak Town by the band, The Stand. Right now it’s going for $0.46. You can tell how unknown this is because Amazon didn’t even give it an artist. The picture and everything is correct though.

This is the second release they put out. Three were released on the Wonderland label:

  • 1989 – The Stand
  • 1990 – Heartbreak Town
  • 1992 – In Three Days

standht.jpgThe only other album for sale online is In Three Days. I did a search to see if they made anything afterwards because Amazon lists other Audio CDs under the name Stand. There is another band called STAND that started around in the 2000s, but they are unrelated.

The Stand that I’m talking about came out of Canada and the lead singer was Tony Valenziano. The funny thing was I purchased this thinking it was somehow related to Altar Boys. I was wrong, but it has a lot to compare to the Altar Boys. I was thinking that Mike Stand was in the band, but nope… As an awesome freak accident, they sound much like the Altar Boys and have the Christian lyrical themes to compare to. The songs are great and half the disc was instantly lovable. The rest of the CD is good too though. Without being cliche, they seem to carry the powerpop sound into the 90s well. There is a nice balance of consistency and echos of different styles. All songs have a pop sound that brings back a 60s feel (Beach Boys/Beatles) fused with the lighter alternative sound of the Replacements (and their influence Alex Chilton).

Where are they now? Tony had a another band Smash on his own label Smile Records and has a new band The Ultra Suede. He’s still kicking out powerpop work, but not sounding as good. He actually did release at least one more album by the Stand called “Replay,” but I’ve never heard it. If I get the urge I’ll get “In Three Days.”