Archive for December 29, 2009

The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Vice Records, 2003

I’ve previously tried to scientifically break down as to why one would pick up a record based on its album cover versus thinking the cover is too trite or pushy, but the only thing going for this record are a bunch of feathers.  True, it’s dark and the typeface of the band name is quite bold, but the cover is only showing what possibly could have been a mass spontaneous combustion of a group of pigeons.  I know we sometimes wish that would happen when our walks get fowly hectic in the city, so maybe the Stills are artfully displaying their frustration with those birds that never quit.  Good for them.

As for the sound of the Stills, they come across as a mesh of the Strokes and Doves, with vocalist Tim Fletcher singing airily over the warm, (and sometimes majestic) compositions by the rest of the band.  Every song on this, their debut release, tends to be catchy with its rhythm but gives off an air of melancholy, mostly due to the inflections of the singer.  Songs like “Changes Are No Good” sounds great, even if the Fletcher either claims that he hates his best friends or is babbling nonsense.  The best rocker on the album, “Still In Love Song” , shows that the band can escalate a little higher when they want to shake off the usual mid-tempo song speed that the album mostly consists of.  However, when the band kills their energetic beats on songs like “Of Montreal” is when the songs can get tiresome.  However, the infrequent slow approach does work very well on “Animals and Insects” mainly due to the musical build up and the well-crafted, emotional chorus.

There haven’t been too many Canadian bands that have drawn great interest from the indie rock crowd, but this record certainly drew attention from a few when it came out some years ago. The band has released a few records on various labels that continue the path of resembling Doves, which I think is a good thing since I’m sure the sound makes for an excellent live show.  Next time I’m up there in Montreal I’ll have to go check these guys out, though I wonder what Canadian indie kids look like…

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