Still Life

The Incredible Sinking Feeling...

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Everything about this album suggests torpid depression, from the monochromatic album cover photo to the band name and album title to lead singer David Pitzel's flat, affectless drawl of a voice. (Heck, even the label name is gloomy!) Second singer Paul Rauch's hardcore shouts occasionally enliven the proceedings, and at times the band manage to chug the beats per minute up over 100 for a while, but then the album slogs back down into its comfortably numb crawl. These bursts of energy give the album an oddly harsh quality that would be lacking if the songs were merely mid-'90s-style slowcore à la Codeine or Bedhead, but on songs like "Breathe," they feel oddly tacked on, so much so that they're a distraction. Although the majority of The Incredible Sinking Feeling... consists of just exactly the kind of mumbling depression that folks use to deride emo and its fans, the powerful epiphany of closing track "Mute" suggests what would have happened if the band had integrated the album's two musical sides more effectively.

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