Stag is the kind of band that formed for exactly the right reason: because the five members found joy in making music together. If that seems simple, and old fashioned in a way, there was once a time when that was the only reason music was ever crafted by any rock band. It was that reason that inspired bands in dank clubs of Liverpool, beery barrooms of Cleveland, or in the tiny taverns that made up the Seattle music scene back in the day.
On their new EP, Seattle-based Stag accomplish the hard task of making music seem entirely joyful and easy. Even when the lyrics are sharply dark, as on the title track here “Paper Crown,” the guitars and vocals soar with an exhuburance that evokes the “High Numbers”-era Who, or the best seventies power pop.