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Album review: StillLine's 'We Are All Asleep'

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StillLine's album "We Are All Asleep"

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Saint Louis rock band StillLine's third album, "We Are All Asleep", can be described in one word: solid. It is just an incredibly solid, unshakeable collection of hard rock tracks without distinguishable flaws. It comes alive in the opening track and refuses to be anything but big, thunderous music that is always on and just meant to be cranked up across speakers and headphones everywhere.

Listening to the opening tracks of "We Are All Asleep" reminds me of listening to prog metal band Tool as a kid with my father (yes, I listened to Tool as a child, my dad was awesome like that). Their sounds seem incredibly similar, although StillLine is not as heavy and doesn't have an industrial edge like Tool does. But it's still there, whether it's in lead singer Brian Clover's deep vocals or the combined guitar work of Michael Q. Fey, Jim Miller, and Alex Moran or even Taylor Patterson's punctuating percussion.

Several tracks on "We Are All Asleep" stand out among the rest. There is "Your Voice", which opens with haunting melodic guitar work that sets up the backing for the rest of the song. It is one of the softest tracks on this album, but don't mistake being soft for being weak. It showcases Clover's vocals as well as all the guitar work that meshes together perfectly.

On the other side of the scale are tracks like "The Callout", whose seemingly slower opening is a total fake-out for the song's true nature. The mid-track breakdown with its slow build-up to the song's crescendo and a skillful layering of vocals is, without a doubt, one of the best moments of the entire album. Then there's "Say Goodbye", which has one of the more interesting videos seen in recent years. Does it have anything to do with the song? Not really, but who cares?

I would bet dollars to donuts that StillLine sounds fifty times better live than recorded. That is not a slight at all. It's a real wish to see them on stage and hear them in person. Just based on the energy in each track, I can imagine that such energy comes out in their live performances.

StillLine's "We Are All Asleep" is definitely recommended for fans of home brewed Saint Louis alternative rock. It is, simply put, a very well put together album from a band who has been around long enough to deserve all the praise.

StillLine's album "We Are All Asleep" can be bought at Amazon, BandCamp, and iTunes. The full album is currently streaming on Spotify.

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