It has been six years since Stochastic Theory’s last full-length album, 2006’s Opposite Extremes, and eight since Chuck Spencer’s debut Soliloquy slammed into the synthpop/ebm scene with the surprise hit “What You Weren’t” (made popular on Dependent Records’ huge Septic compilation series). Now Stochastic Theory is back with The Next Last Time, taking his sound further than before while preserving the best elements from the previous albums. From the upbeat rhythms of the opener “Hold Up” to the plaintive “Best I Can Do” and “Bubble” to the surprisingly emotional cover of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” (and no, that’s not a joke), The Next Last Time showcases not only Spencer’s knack for catchy lyrics and vocal rhythms, but also his deeper understanding of what simply makes a damn good song. The album also includes remixes from I:Scintilla, The Gothsicles, and Kelly Shafer (who did the Echo Virus mix of What You Weren’t).
For the uninitiated, Stochastic Theory came out of the same fertile Madison, Wisconsin electronic scene that spawned Stromkern, Caustic, Null Device, the aforementioned Gothsicles, and others. Like the rest, Stochastic Theory has its own unique voice in a scene dominated with too many copycats. Spencer’s introspective lyrics, tight rhythms, and strong hooks showed influences ranging from the more traditional (Depeche Mode) to indie (Bloc Party, Postal Service) and allowed his vision to quickly stand out from the pack. And now it will again with The Next Last Time.
It’s great to have him back