The Stills : Logic Will Break Your Heart

Montreal's melancholy drug-gibbons give it the big one...

Mopey music rules. Any album that has squeezed in the phrase, "Massive suicide dreams" - like The Stills manage on 'Gender Bombs' - by track two is onto a winner with me. Chuck in a load of clanging takes on

Slowdive, Ride and New Order and, frankly, I'm ploughing through the metaphorical water full steam ahead, direction: Tongue Sandwich Island.

Admittedly, The Stills aren't bringing anything frighteningly new to the table, unless, by some weird twist in the space-time continuum you've grown up completely unaware of the very existence of '80s sulk-rock. But for every moment where the echoes of what's gone before threaten to engulf them, The Stills have ten more that shrug off the dead weight of their influences and reveal a thick, dark veneer of anguished sincerity. Singer Tim Fletcher's insistence on revealing the boiling waves of his own paranoia and drugged-out, empty self-loathing is never less than savagely enlightening, in fact, he's a master of the well-turned, bitingly sharp phrase. In, 'Of Montreal', he updates Morrissey's fabulously lonely post-nightout lament from 'How Soon Is Now', so "… You stand on your own / And you leave on your own / And you go home, and you cry / And you want to die," becomes, "The night so happy / The bass drum heavy / The photo glossy / The people pretty," but in the unsatisfied chemical dawn he sounds so unutterably wretched his words are twisted into bitter taunts. On the title track he moans, "We're never gonna make it through / This sorry joke / Oh my God", while band's arcing, melodic suss creates a stark back-light which lifts and sensitizes everything you hear. 'Animals And Insects', meanwhile, ponders the big issues of the day. "I stumble out of a nightclub," sings a confused Fletcher, "thinking animals and insects don't do drugs". Cue applause. Extra

points too for the warmly distorted sound that made my skull feel pleasantly hollowed-out. Not that I'm complaining, you understand.

Rob Fitzpatrick

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7 / 10

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