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Wiki

  • Release Date

    1988

  • Length

    12 tracks

A Fierce Pancake is the second and final album and only full-length studio album by Anglo-Irish experimental rock band Stump, released 7 March 1988 on Ensign Records. After the band had enjoyed some underground success in the 1980s, including the release of their critically acclaimed "Buffalo" single and Quirk Out mini-album in 1986, the band signed to major label Ensign Records and began work on A Fierce Pancake in 1987. A major part of the recording process was undertaken in Berlin's famous Hansa Studios, where many of the band's favorite albums by other artists had been recorded. Recording sessions were very tense and problematic. The band initially worked with Stephen Street as engineer; he departed the sessions to work on Morrissey's Viva Hate, a decision the band would regret. Electronic pioneer Holger Hiller produced the Berlin sessions, a choice taken by bassist Kev Hopper whose recent interest in sampling and similar experimental techniques that Hiller was known for had grown, much to the other band members' disdain, who felt that Hiller and Hopper's direction was not to their liking.

Hopper's personal relations with the band grew increasingly strained and he left the sessions. The band returned to London where American electronic producer John Robie produced other parts of the album. His pop-centered production ethic was at odds with Hiller's avant-garde approach, but like Hiller, his approach was not to the band's liking. Hugh Jones ultimately mixed the album at Britannia Row Studios in London. The final album mixes avant-garde, funk and rock sensibilities that mix "jagged melodies that take abrupt left turns" with its "increasingly odd songs". Joseph Neff of The Vinyl District recalled that the album's "bent was deeply non-conformist yet not substantially indebted to punk precedent. It was surely bizarre, but was also highly structured."

The album was released in March 1988 on Ensign Records, with two singles released from it; "Chaos" and "Charlton Heston". The latter reached number 72 on the UK Singles Chart, but the album was not a commercial success, despite receiving favorable reviews from critics. The band split-up later in 1988, making A Fierce Pancake their final album. It went out of print in 1990 and only briefly returned to print in 2008 as part of a compilation album entitled A Fierce Pancake & Before: The Complete Anthology. However, today the album is praised as a "cult classic". Mike Patton named the album one of his favorite albums. Critics have noted the album may have influenced later bands, and one critic called the album a "significant precursor" to post-rock.

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