Monday, February 1, 2021

Music Review //
stillcorners
"The Last Exit"
(Wrecking Light Records)


https://stillcorners.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-exit //


Back in 2013 was when I first heard Still Corners- with the album "Strange Pleasures"- and I was an instant fan (even though I had this weird thing against Sub Pop that present me cannot seem to account for; it was like reading someone else's words)  Perhaps the best way to describe the sound on "The Last Exit" is as a dreamy western.   There are moments of definite -gaze to be found within these songs, but they also have that driving quality which at times can make them feel as if they take place in the desert.

The songs are calm and they also calm me.  "Crying" has a big synth feel to it, while "White Sands" has the sounds of a thunderstorm.   That drive on "White Sands" also can remind me of a mix of Blondie and Fleetwood Mac with a little bit of Metric.   "Till We Meet Again" has those desert western guitars which make it feel like we're about to have a showdown, like in some old John Wayne movie.    This also happens to be an instrumental song and it just builds and builds before reducing itself back down to just the beat of the drum.

"A Kiss Before Dying" has this cool western feel to it, one of the artists I think of is Fastball, and it just can seem like something out of a Tarantino film.   I started listening to this album before I watched "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood", but I did watch that movie recently and now I really feel like, musically, the two can be connected.   "Bad Town" reminds me of Mazzy Star and there is the howl of a coyote within this song as well.   The percussion ends the song with a nice back and forth, which just shows how this album can be musically diverse as well, not just completely guitar driven.

The tone starts off a little bit spooky on "Mystery Road", but it grows into quite a melodic song which, yes, you should be listening to while driving.    When we get into "It's Voodoo" there is a nice guitar riff that I really like.   By the end of this album we reach a song called "Old Arcade" and it really makes me think about where we started and how far this album has come.   I remember, as a child who went to arcades, thinking about how long ago the old west was and now I suppose the idea of arcades is also but a distant memory.   I really need to find somewhere- when the pandemic isn't so bad- which has lots of arcade games like when I went to my local mall in my youth.

While it would be simple enough to state that "The Last Exit" has the feeling of a -gaze album, so if you are into that you will be into this, with a western surface I think that is something which can be used only to draw the listener in and make them open a link and press play.  Once the listening begins, then you shall see the complex layers which exist within this sound.  You will find the lyrics and pieces of music which you might not have been prepared for but they fit right in.   This can feel simple in the way it is described, but once you really listen the music becomes much more complex.  


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