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Arena

October 28, 2008

Montreal’s The Stills were in the right place at the right time.  When they dropped Logic Will Break Your Heart in 2003, they sat on top of a wave of anthemic 80s influenced moody rock.  One year after Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights and one year before The Killers’ Hot Fuzz, they were pretty much the mid point between the darker tendencies of the former and the populism of the latter.

That’s mostly faded and fashions have moved on.  So have The Stills, more or less.  They’re still in love with shimmery verses and big crashing choruses.  They remain the quintessential indie arena band – not yet popular enough for the venues their music demands.

This year’s album Oceans Will Rise is full of hooks and drama.  It doesn’t have a stand-out to match their epic “Lola Stars And Stripes”, but if you loved that song there’s plenty in the same vein – like the sweetly angsty “Being Here”.  They also push their sound in a few new directions – even if those directions are still influenced by British bands of the 1980s.  Opener “Don’t Talk Down” is a great piece of Police-ish reggae pop.

The Stills – “Being Here”

The Stills – “Don’t Talk Down”

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