Alternative music reviews

October 13, 2005

Storms Over Still Water by Mostly Autumn

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Ah, the Seventies. An era of adventurous classic rock bands, warm sounding guitars, well-placed synthesisers and a time when Deep Purple and Pink Floyd were the soundtrack to every teen’s life. York-based seven-piece Mostly Autumn want to re-capture that time, an era when songs were enriched with Hammond Organs, symphonic strings, female backing vocals and weeping guitar solos. In existence since 1999, Mostly Autumn have picked up a solid fan base, selling out 2000+ capacity venues and selling over 15,000 copies of their previous ‘Passengers’ album – pretty impressive stats for a relatively unheard band.

Polished and crammed with multi-layer instrumentation, songs like the Heather Findlay sang ‘Heart Life’ ooze sophistication. When the solo lead enters towards the end, the spirit of Gilmour is apparent. The same soaring notes and are played with conviction and would not be out of place on a classic Pink Floyd record. The catchy ‘Broken Glass’ has an Eighties style multi-tracked guitar hook, whilst dated is still foot-tappingly pleasurable.

The album is sequenced to include the shorter, poppier songs at the beginning with a few slow epics towards the end. Flutes, sombre piano and heavier emphasis of atmosphere dominate ‘Carpe Diem’ and the title track – ‘Storms Over Still Water’. Both songs show a band flexing their creativity, with ‘Carpe Diem’ about the devastating 2004 tsunami walking off with top honours, the striking vocal section from Heather merges nicely into Bryan Josh’s signature soaring guitar solo, which he pulls out the bag quite often throughout the album. Another extended song is ‘Candle To The Sky’, evocative of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, perhaps too much; the obvious influence is as distracting as it is unoriginal.

It’s hard not to think of Pink Floyd when listening to ‘Storms Over Still Water’, as the similarities are striking and unashamed. Fair play to the band, as Mostly Autumn has released a highly dependable and well-rounded album which has already gained plenty of acclaim from existing fans.

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Review by Nick Collings

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