Thousand Yard Stare were an English band from Slough, Berkshire active during the early 1990s, prior to the Britpop explosion. Supporting popular bands on the indie circuit such as James and Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, the band also released several EPs.
NME nominated Thousand Yard Stare as “brightest hope for the future”.In June 1991, the Keepsake EP reached the top spot in both the NME and Melody Maker independent charts. That summer the band performed at the Reading Festival, further raising their profile and leading to their stint as support for James in October and November of that year. In the Autumn, the band began the sessions for their first album, the first fruit of which was another EP. Seasonstream EP was released on Stifled Aardvark Records in 1991, their last independent release on their own label. The Seasonstream EP began with a track titled “0-0 a.e.t”, (which means “No Score After Extra Time”), a football metaphor laden song that featured Martin Bell of The Wonder Stuff on fiddle. This single again topped the Indie music charts, and reached number 65 in the UK Singles Chart. With the backing of the major label Polydor, Thousand Yard Stare went on to release a further three EPs, and two studio albums. (Hands On and Mappamundi) were both produced by Stephen Street, who had already produced records for The Smiths and Blur.
However, neither of the albums made much of an inroad into the mainstream market, and the band became eclipsed by the burgeoning Britpoppers such as Suede, Blur and Elastica.
Thousand Yard Stare – Hands On
Catalog#: 513 083-0
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album with inner
Released: 24 Feb 1992
Style: Indie Rock
A1 0-0 A.E.T. 3:58
A2 Thisness 3:12
A3 Comeuppance 6:16
A4 Cottager 3:16
A5 Seasonstream 5:35
B1 Junketing 3:13
B2 Nonplussed 3:42
B3 Absentee 3:10
B4 Last Up First To Go 2:48
B5 Buttermouth 4:17
B6 Wideshire 5:56
4.0 out of 5 stars Sons of Indie Dance
Thats how they were described when they came out. They were touted as the next big thing – and like so many before and since, never quite got there. This album is really energetic and full of screaming fast guitars. It also has its slower moments (such as Seasonstream) which have some really nice touches. Only Comeupance made a dent on the charts (number 30 something I think) – but it was by no means their best tune.
4.0 out of 5 stars Melodic pop-rock from the early nineties.
This 1992 debut album from Thousand Yard Stare contains the best tracks from their earlier extended play singles like Comeuppance, Weatherwatching and Seasonstream. The music is a delightful blend of jangling guitars, catchy riffs and lovely melodies. Although firmly rooted in rock, their melodic songs have a strong pop appeal that makes them stick in the mind.
The closest comparisons in my opinion are the UK group James and early Tom Petty, although Thousand Yard Stares overall sound is lighter and more bouncy than the latter. My favourite songs include the tuneful opening number O.0 a.e.t., Seasonstream with its rousing guitars, Nonplussed with its great harmonies and impressive guitar textures, Last Up First To Go with its nervous early nineties beat and Buttermouth with its hypnotic guitar lines.
Judging by the quality of the sound and the material on this album, I am surprised that Thousand Yard Stare did not achieve greater success. Hands On is a charming collection of tuneful pop-rock songs that linger in the mind long after the last notes have died down. Its more than ten years later but I’m pleased to have discovered this album.
4.0 out of 5 stars of its time
It was a crying shame that this band got lumped in with a lot of the more mediocre indie bands of the same era. However, a lot of this could have been down to their own making. This album showed glimpses of something more than their contemporaries.
Really good album though and full of good memories as a soundtrack to uni life in the early ’90s