Still Corners: Dead Blue (Wrecking Light) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Still Corners

Dead Blue

Wrecking Light

Sep 29, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


British/American dream-pop act Still Corners should take a page out of S U R V I V E's book (as with Netflix's Stranger Things) and do the musical score for a dark '80s-indebted series. Their new album, Dead Blue, perfectly nails the aesthetic: a synthetic, manufactured sheen covering up a dark, beating heart at its core. It serves as a great soundtrack to a midnight drive on a moonless night. The problem is, it doesn't do much else.

Still Corners' last record, 2013's Strange Pleasures, was a pleasantly sunny set of dream-pop that resembled Beach House, if one were to add some guitars and send them to England for a year. On Dead Blue, the confident pacing and layered instrumentals are replaced with surface-level foreboding and an overabundance of arpeggiated synth bass. The band has largely jettisoned the elements that fleshed out their sound in favor of more simplistic, generic synth-pop instrumentation. Every change here seems destined to serve one thing: the mood. And sometimes, it works. "Lost Boys" is a stubbornly catchy opener, kicking off a static nocturnality that pervades the album's runtime. "Bad Country" is the easy highlight, effectively utilizing ghostly vocal harmonies to create a feeling of anxiety and foreboding.

"Bad Country" also contains a few sublime lead guitar solos, as does "Downtown." Every time a lead guitar or some other instrumental solo line breaks free from the murk, it's lovely. This band knows how to use their instruments to add flavor, but unfortunately instances of this happening are relatively few and far between. And this might be why Still Corners should explore soundtrack work; all the flashes of brilliance on Dead Blue are instrumental and aesthetic. The cohesive mood is only brought down by the lackluster songs. (www.stillcorners.tumblr.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10



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