New Stimulations

Just after the all-female trio the Stimulants released the optimistic Sunspot Lollypop CD in July, sunny-dispositioned guitar-popper Sue B. says she was "blindsided" to learn the other members wanted to quit the band. "We had just signed with a label [the local Secondheaven.com], too," she sighs.
Soon, Sue began to seek new stimuli with former Lost Continentals drummer Mike Hammer and Berklee-trained guitarist Ken Barr. Currently filling in on bass, Fabulous Lounge Punks' guitarist Scott Lambert had setbacks of his own last year after being shot by a car thief. But, like Sue, Lambert soldiers on in the trenches of local rock 'n' roll.
"Everything about this band is new, except me," Sue says. "I'm still gonna be doing most of the singing and lyrics, but the whole dynamic is different. These guys are pros."
As the band tears through older songs from the album, it's obvious the once clunky-yet-charming Stimulants are now a muscular and mature-sounding unit. Songs that were only partially realized on record now shake and pop with a confident, caffeinated jolt. While still retaining the Anglo-influences Sue wears on her sleeve — and displays on the walls of the practice room — the new Stimulants kick in with a beefy American take on the solid Buzzcocks/Jam/Who mindset.
While they're a long way from their nervous four-song debut at the Crazy Horse on Memorial Drive five years ago, the band's basic vision remains intact. "There are songs that just make you feel really good when you hear them. I've always tried to write songs to give that feeling to other people, " Sue says. "We're still trying to do stuff that just picks your whole day up."
The Stimulants play the Echo Lounge, Thurs., Jan. 11, and with the Helgas at the Star Bar, Wed., Jan 17.