Release Date: Mar 7, 2006
Record label: Too Pure / Beggars Banquet
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
An album and a singles collection at the same time, Fab Four Suture stitches together four limited-edition EPs Stereolab released in the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006. Over the years, the group has made a reputation for having EPs and singles -- and therefore, singles collections -- that are just as good, if not better, than their albums, as comps like Switched On and Aluminum Tunes attest. Stereolab has also always been very democratic about making sure fans can get their hands on nearly all of their more obscure releases in some form or another; while Fab Four Suture is a little different than their other collections in that it was designed to form an album upon the completion of the EP series, in terms of its quality, it's on par with the band's most enjoyable comps.
Are Stereolab pop music’s greatest formalists? Their early records, borne of cherry-picking fanaticism, treated neglected musics (Krautrock, French chanson, and early electronics) as malleable material to be shaped into kaleidoscopic pop. Stereolab’s referentiality offered an easy out to critics and lazy listeners, but as the group developed they syncretized their influences, their bricolage of culture leading them paradoxically to find their true selves. Such is the fluidity of Stereolab’s aesthetic trajectory that it’s hard to pinpoint the specific moments where things changed, but perhaps the major shift, inaugurated by extended pieces from the late 1990s like “Blue Milk” and “Refractions in the Plastic Pulse,” was the move from molar to molecular, the treatment of song as cellular.