The Stills - Destroyer

The Stills of yesteryear are still in there somewhere, but it's as if their own frustration at the lack of commercial recognition has got the better of them.

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Released 15 May 2007 | | By Richard Stokoe | Rating: 2-5
The Stills - Destroyer

It's now three years since Montreal's The Stills released two of the best singles of recent years. 'Still In Love Song' and 'Changes Are No Good' were both catchy and melodic indie-pop of the highest order, recalling both 80s New Romanticism and lo-fi scuzz-rock - A Flock Of Seagulls meets The Jesus & Mary Chain. The album from which they were drawn, 'Logic Will Break Your Heart' indicated that great things were in store for the band, but while others such as Interpol, The Killers and The Bravery successfully rode the wave of the 80s revival, somehow The Stills missed the boat.

Those hoping for 'Destroyer' to offer more of the same may be disappointed. A soulful electric piano intro is joined by a pounding drumbeat and the familiar voice of Tim Fletcher. What is less familiar is the addition of a brass section that continues its joyful parping throughout. This has the inevitable effect of turning an already upbeat tune into a sunshine pop sing-a-long. Despite this, and as the title of the song might suggest, the lyrics are far from feelgood; "I will destroy you, your soul impedes on mine. Let go my free will, I can't stand compromise, only when you're dead, I'll make you mine. So goes the chorus.

The Stills of yesteryear are still in there somewhere, but their sound has been embellished to detrimental effect; as though their own frustration at the lack of commercial recognition has got the better of them. At best, 'Destroyer' is akin to a melding of The Velvet Underground and The Commitments. In reality the band's sound and spirit has been distilled.