Still_motions Syn_the_sis

still motions - syn · the · sis


“Into the great wide open, under those skies of blue“ - that line from one of Tom Petty‘s biggest hits might have turned into a motto or a guideline for Arizona’s post-rock besties still motions. The band has now released a second full-length which proves that idea because their sound seems endlessly expansive and limitless. Behold this band as they might become the next big thing in post-rock!

Two years ago, the band dropped their first full-length mirrors onto a world that had not expected something like that to come out of the deserts of Arizona, the land of the Meat Puppets and Jimmy Eat World. Not that the state doesn’t offer stunning surroundings to fall in love with or to draw inspiration from. The latter is surely the secret to still motions’ success: They love what they do and it permeates through every beat and riff and every twist and turn. Surely the quartet has heard its share of music by Mogwai, Ranges, This Will Destroy You or Caspian, yet they don’t copykill but use these bands as a role model in the way they write music.

On that basis, still motions went on to write syn · the · sis, which is conceptualized as the first part of a double-record, about which you can get to know a little bit more on Sunday ;-). The record is surely a “synthesis” between the band’s natural way of creating music striving for the top and the influences around them, as nothing is usually created out of thin air. The fact that they wrote this record as a real band for the first time - mirrors was still more of a solo-project by mastermind Thomas Brenneman – is clearly audible as every instrument has its own very individual space and its own role in this dialogue of sorts. The sound of the record is big, like desert-big. The way they recorded it makes perfect sense for a band whose songs always sound as if they were either recorded in the Carlsbad Cavern (the echo) or under the star-clad skies of the Arizona desert where the songs and chords can basically wander of into the darkness, reaching to the sky. That living in these surroundings can turn one into a spiritual being is understandable, but it’s also clear that this has nothing to do with institutionalized religion, hence a track title like ”Agnosia” is understandable.

That they also play with some regular structures is also very nice to witness: they abandon the usual quiet-to-loud-structure by opening the record on one their heaviest riffs at the beginning of ”Welcome Oblivion” - a great idea and quite a statement, not playing by anyone’s expectations, but rather riffing them into oblivion. Of course, we also get those wonderfully pearly moments, when the songs are as close to Caspian without copying the Massachusetts powerhouse. When they use those as the carpet for the strong riffs in the title track one might need two listens to recognize them, but they are there, for sure.

still motions are one of those new bands from the States that show that post-rock is now a well-established genre in the New World and when listening to the dream-like intro to the last track ”Hope in Lasting Bloom”, it becomes clear that no one needs to fear for American post-rock as long as there are bands that execute their splendid ideas so perfectly. Bands like still motions which a great white future.