Standing Shadows | Freakshow | Just a Part of Me (Tales From the War) | One By One | Rating: 8/11 |
Somewhere between the outward and worldly conditions of human suffering and discontent let’s assume that people still want to get their dance on amid their angst and confusion. And if that’s the case, then Standing Shadows is your band.
The latter of 2011 saw Standing Shadows (David Miltenberger, Dan Silver, Mike Greco and Michael Ascolese) sequentially dropping little doses of their noise in the form of three distinct EPs (Freakshow, Just a Part of Me [Tales From the War Garden], and One By One) of varying degrees of progressive/alternative/electronica/indie rock/dance-something or other that takes its cues from no established music manual of “do this, not that,” and it’s safe to say that they are pointedly aiming higher than being your standard, run-of-the-mill reason to rock and shake your ass on the dance floor. Not that there’s anything wrong with shaking one’s ass on your dance floor of choice for the sole sake of doing so. Nothing wrong with it at all, but Standing Shadows aims to bring some revolutionary upheaval into the mix and the remixes, giving it the heft of a conscience.
As an EP trilogy, if you’re looking for a running compositional or musical theme, stop because these are three wholly disparate bodies of work seemingly designed to tap into separate areas of the brain. Freakshowsounds appropriately titled and is the straight up ode to the art of the remix and that thing any club DJ will dig; twisted density of five tracks blown up to where they sound like strobe lights are included. Probably the most direct route to Standing Shadows is EP #3, One By One; three tracks and their most linear approach to the music in the bunch; no remixing or side steps involved, just edgy beat and synth-driven contemplations on being a member of a complex human race shaded with the downbeat and feel of post-punk. Sounds a little sad and gloomy but yeah… no; the result is an amalgamation of frenzy and cool if you can wrap your face around the thought of a lovechild of Interpol and Prodigy.
But where things take the most unique (if not unexpected) turn is on the six tracksof Just A Part Of Me; where One By One and Freakshow are bold, mad shouts – theremixes of the title track “Just A Part Of Me” are dialed down to almost a haze in comparison. If the thought of war (literal or figurative) is unsavory, “Just A Part Of Me” gives it gentle, even orchestral treatment because Standing Shadows take an almost lush and ethereal approach with strings, highly prominent piano, and Miltenberger’s longing vocals. “Fade Away Post-War Garden” leaves the most haunt in its wake and that’s a good thing. Well done for an alt-leaning, mashup, electronica, prog-rock whatever band.