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The Stills
Without Feathers
Vice Records

Filled with infectious rock 'n roll hooks and crisp, clean power pop ballads, The Stills' latest Without Feathers finds the Montreal-based indie rockers combining the sounds of such '60s British bands as The Kinks and The Rolling Stones with the late '90s Britpop influences prevalent in their previous effort, Logic Will Break Your Heart. The opening "In the Beginning" and "The Mountain" are both poetic, spirited rockers driven by chugging power chords, while "She's Walking Out" and "In the End" are far mellower piano-driven fare. "Helicopters" hints at the band's former obsession with Echo and the Bunnymen with tremolo guitars and synthesizer touches. The rousing "Oh Shoplifter" is the album's standout track, however. Featuring hand clap percussion and a catchy melody worthy of Ray Davies, "Oh Shoplifter" is the tale of stolen love and heartbreak that features the most inspired harmonies on Without Feathers. "Halo the Harpoons" is yet another Britpop-inspired song with a power pop guitar refrain, while "It Takes Time" is a sublime post-punk rocker featuring horns, power chords, and a double time drum beat. The final three tracks - the angry horn- and guitar-infused "Destroyer," the post-New Wave synthesizer duet with Broken Social Scene's Emily Haines "Baby Blues," and the tender tremolo guitar-driven "The House We Live In" - round out the album nicely. On Without Feathers, The Stills manage to weave a unique musical tapestry using seemingly divergent influences, insuring that they will not fall prey to the sophomore slump so common in the indie rock genre.

-Tracy M. Rogers

Track List:
1. In the Beginning
2. The Mountain
3. She's Walking Out
4. Helicopters
5. In the End
6. Oh Shoplifter
7. Outro
8. Halo the Harpoons
9. It Takes Time
10. Destroyer
11. Baby Blues
12. The House We Live In

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