This Still Flyin’ article was written by Ben Malkin. A GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.
Bay Area collective Still Flyin’ are continuously shuffling through alternating ‘Cisco-based lineups whilst stretching themselves all across the globe, taking on all-comers. Despite the changes, they are still having fun, still rocking, and yes…still flyin’.
‘Perfect Future’ has that old indie, good time/bad time vibe. We’re all troubled people but we’re going to party anyway. And these parties will always be followed by that sour aftertaste of sorrow, pounding heads and regret. The album definitely executes that night-time feel, with a fun rock band mood, a few snippets of scum and a certain optimistic grubbiness that feels like you’ve fallen off the roof of your house but somehow managed to land on your feet.
The selection of instruments is quite wondrous, adding to the authenticity and the frequented funkiness. A saxophone gropes the ears of the listener on ‘Love Both Sides’ and weird keyboards crash the party on ‘Morning Boys’. Sometimes the record feels better when the sound is a bit more stripped back, and while songs like ‘Get out of My Car’ might have that all too familiar radio-friendly, danceable, modern, hip, cool kid feeling, it’s very suitable, well-toned and in its own way, fresh.
“I want to climb up to your window and put my boom box on the roof” – Yes, some of the lyrics are cheesier than Chester Cheetah. The aforementioned line is taken from the aforementioned ‘Love Both Sides’, a quirky little number with some romantic undertones. That song itself sums up the first half of the album quite well, while some of the songwriting is a bit off-putting, the regular emphasis on melody and catchiness at least makes for an enjoyable listen, and will both hook people and make them want to go back for further listens.
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The album’s flow is fine but familiar; as it goes on there are still bits and pieces of the earlier melodic shine, but with tales of “cool indie record labels” and the like, the record loses that earlier, charismatic charm. The downward slope continues with ‘Tea Leaves’, with that escalated, contrived sense of refrigerated coolness. It’s that super-slick, ‘other side of the pillow’ type of shtick, and it’s ridiculously overdone.
‘Perfect Future’ is a decent listen; in places it has all the makings of a fun-yet-quirky indie pop experience, but not every attempted piece of personality is executed all that well.
‘Perfect Future’ is out now via Total Hammjamm