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Schtum's debut -- Grow -- was an album of post-grunge alternative rock. Post-grunge is a slightly inappropriate term for Grow, which by and large follows the pattern of the albums Fugazi had been releasing several years before the line between alternative and mainstream rock became blurred. In other words, Grow is not only derivative, but it also lacks the spark and musicality that mark Fugazi's recordings. Musically, Schtum are quite competent; lyrically they are lightweight and uninspiring. Some of these tracks show that Schtum can at least write decent songs -- "Post Modern" and "Big Big City" are two examples. At their worst, however, Schtum are repetitive and atonal, bordering on the unlistenable. Grow was not a commercially successful album. It remained to be seen whether Schtum could improve their songwriting sufficiently to gain themselves some notice.

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