Music » CD Reviews


Nonsequitur of Silence (Collectors' Choice Music)


In the mid-'70s, North Carolina's Sneakers established themselves as perhaps the first "lo-fi" indie-pop band, filtering the British Invasion and folk-rock through a nervy DIY framework. In retrospect, the lineup reads like a supergroup. There's Chris Stamey and current Cleveland resident Will Rigby, both of whom would later establish the dB's, one of power pop's seminal outfits. Then we have Mitch Easter, R.E.M.'s future producer and engineer, as well as the leader of Let's Active.

As for the tunes, Sneakers fashioned rough gems -- equal parts pop cleverness and wistful sentiment. Compiling a wealth of long-unavailable material, Nonsequitur traces Stamey's gradual growth into a modern Lennon (while the dB's Peter Holsapple played McCartney). Like Lennon, Stamey peppered his bittersweet rockin' with a mischievous subversion of pop-song convention ("Love's Like a Cuban Crisis"), wry angularity, mild dissonance, and tart sarcasm ("That's funny/You don't look like a character assassin"). Along with those proto-punks (see Pere Ubu), Sneakers did a smashing job of saving rock and roll -- even if the band did concentrate on crafting pretty melodies.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.