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Oceans Will Rise

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This Montreal-based quartet has struggled with their identity. Young and impressionable, with their 2003 debut album, Logic Will Break Your Heart, they loved Joy Division. For album two, 2006’s Without Feathers, they reached towards roots-oriented heartland rock. In 2008, the Stills channel U2 and the grandiose anthems and aural caverns that come with a band looking to get out the message. Which is, as the title of their 2008 album implies, about climate change. “Snow In California” uses tricky electronics and earnest wailing against this man-instigated onslaught, while “Snakecharming the Masses” wraps itself in a molten-guitar-heavy grind that works up against the otherworldly vocal chants to create a tense and disorienting atmosphere. With such grandiosity abounding, “Panic” lopes with an agreeably pulled back attack that recalls the easeful melodies of Travis. “Being Here” serves as a welcomed modest stroke that pushes forth with a simple guitar attack, a seductive keyboard break and a firm vocal hook from singer Tim Fletcher that makes the strongest statement of all.

Customer Reviews

Successful Seduction

The main thing that needs to be said about “Oceans Will Rise” is that in all aspects – music, lyrics & vocals – it is fantastic! As anticipated, it's an extremely satisfying listen; such a solid album. Probably most (The) Stills fans will say that the boys have returned to form, with this album more reminiscent of the “Logic Will Break Your Heart” sound versus “Without Feathers.” I think that ultimately it’s a beautiful fusion of the two but a true progression. (This review’s longer than I intended, but since I’ve done, here it is…) * denotes a lyric and a theme Don't Talk Down - From the first notes and vocals, totally into it. The organ and piano are awesome. A rich, great sounding song that’ll get your hips shaking for sure. Snow in California is excellent. Snakecharming The Masses - Definitely one of the favourites and a stand out! As the name suggests, there is an exotic flavour and it shines through. * think of my house burning…ashes in gasoline Being Here – Loving this single forever, listening to it endlessly since it came out. So superb; so uplifting. * the ones you love are the ones you burn… Everything I Build - ‘The tide is high / I’ve never been so low / You got room to grow’ opens this song…It’s only a day and a half of listening to this album but ‘Everything I Build’ is the next favourite after ‘Being Here.’ For a song that marks itself with ‘…everything I build is breaking down…’ about feeling low, being in self-doubt, it’s truly a bright song. One of those ones that people will relate to and find comfort in, for their own similar moments. * I built it with all the things that I’m not / And I watch from the hill as it burns to the ground / I can still see the smoke… Panic - Love this melodious track: voice, guitar & keys in particular. Eastern Europe - An excellent, faster paced, rock track…some sexy lyrics in this one. Hands on Fire - Love it! Pleasingly, a longer track. * It starts with a match…Can I escape these / Hands that glow…I saw the flames / Crawl up your spine / When the room got warm / I froze up inside / My hands on Fire (seriously, can lyrics get any better?) Dinosaurs - The drums & keyboard are definite highlights in this track. * volcanic waves I'm With You - Absolutely one of the best songs on the album: very uplifting. Rooibos/Palm Wine Drinkard - Particularly great guitars here. Gets pretty wicked towards the end (+ organ) and calms down with a nice outro. The lyrics for this one are pretty dark, actually. * fireworks erupting Statue of Sirens - A quiet track…lovely, through and through. Once again, contemplative lyrics. * The Stills have some regular themes going in all their lyrics and the elements (earth, air, fire & water) are prevalent. Fire seems to be the strongest one though. There is a continuation of a theme from “Without Feathers.” Here are some lyrics from different songs from that album: in a ball of fire; blow out all the candles; and the whale fat burn; I’d firewalk through Dinosaur Hell; the wildfires burn in hopes; the fire burns blue. The “Logic Will Break Your Heart” album artwork is the simple image of falling feathers. In the myth of Icarus, his father fashioned wings for them both so they could escape Crete. Though warned not to, Icarus flew too near the sun, which melted his wings and he was without feathers and plummeted to the sea. Then there’s all the album artwork for “Without Feathers” – striking images of multiple bouquets of flowers set on fire. (There are many other themes, but I won’t go on.)

Solid Album

I found that this album was overall a good album a few of the songs were lacking but others were amazing. I highly recommend this album if you like new rock.

Good Collection of Rock with Moments of Brilliance

The Stills' third album doesn't really resemble either of their first two discs but maybe falls somewhere in between. It is more uplifting than "Logic..." and more new age rock than "Without Feathers." Tracks like "Being Here" and "Hands on Fire" are exceptional. There are moments of true bliss on this album, and while not all the songs are standouts, they are at least good fillers. Songs with pleasant predictability are interrupted by moments of surprising unpredictability. I'm content with this album, which will likely grow on me more and more with each listen. The Stills are making music with a sense of determination, purpose and emotion.


Formed: 2000 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The Stills only bore scant similarities to Interpol, but like those suit-wearing New Yorkers, the Stills launched their career with a stately post-punk sound inspired by the likes of Echo & the Bunnymen and Joy Division. Having known one another since the age of 12, the band's founding members -- vocalist Tim Fletcher, drummer Dave Hamelin, guitarist Greg Paquet, and bassist Oliver Crowe -- played in various bands before forming the Stills in 2000. Two years later, they temporarily left their native...
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Oceans Will Rise, The Stills
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