Some bands show up and make a big stinking noise, steal a lot of hearts and make a ton of cash and then proceed to ride off nostalgia, riffing on their initial glory to diminishing returns. (See Pearl Jam) Others churn out a hit single and disappear, only to return, becoming rock behemoths with artistic cred as thick as 9/11 reports. (See Radiohead) Stereolab just dropped a debut album in the form of a Rubix Cube and then spent the next 14 years showing us what one of the sides look like after we've peeled the stickers. Everything the 'Lab has since produced is here on Peng!, the fuzzed out guitars, the slacker vocals and all the beeps and whistles (which, in the 'Lab's case really are "beeps" and "whistles.") In these storied Williamsburg days of Black Dice and Sleeparchive, it's easy to pretend that music and the sound the coffee maker makes didn't get married until after the final episode of Six Feet Under, but brother, please. It just ain't so. Of course, back in 1992, all Stereolab had to offer was getting served up, and served up fast. Beginning a herculean release schedule that they've still maintained, Peng! was the perfect introduction of a band who would always seem to be right on the edge of making a really great piece of pop music--as soon as they got the whole "art" thing out of the way. Thankfully, they never have: and we've got sexy pieces of distortion called "Stomach Worm" to prove it.
-Tucker Stone, 2006