Formed a little more than a year ago in the backwoods of Missoula, Mont., this instrumental quintet shows a lot of potential on its debut album. In the vein of Mogwai and Godspeed!, Still Life employs dark orchestrations, reverb-drenched instrumentation and layers upon layers of cosmic melancholy on tracks like "Oh God, the Lights Are Going Dim" and "Cross My Heart/Hope You Die," both songs bearing titles that adequately reflect their solemnity. Occasionally, the band tones down the melodrama; the harmonicas on "Skywriting over Virginia" give it a campfire-shoegaze feel, and up-tempo jazzy drumming lends "Pretty Is Predictable" a contrast to the molasses-like viscosity that permeates the rest of the disc.
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