Stillframe

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Having reviewed dozens (possibly hundreds) of albums, only three have made it into my private collection and this is one of them.

Stillframe is the epitome of everything that is good with modern adult alternative rock without any of the usual mistakes.

Not only is their poetry angst-filled and contemporary, it is very, very well written. Seldom have I heard even one song off an album where the lyrics would stand on their own as poetry, but Stillframe has produced an entire album of such writing.

As for the music itself, manoman, where do I start?

At times making the listener think of 3 Doors Down, Disturbed, REM and even Pink Floyd, none of these songs can be accused of being "sounds-like" tracks. They are each unique and seperate from anything I've ever heard. The closest I'd come to comparing any given song off this album to a specific group or style is to say they have jumped head-first into the alt rock genre and set the bar for how it *should* sound.

Generally, most albums I review will get about 30 seconds of listening then on to the next track, only going longer if I'm hooked. I honestly listened to this album, in its entirety, never touching the "advance" key on my cd player once. If memory serves, this is the first album I've listened to from beginning to end the first time I heard it ... and that includes albums I've purchased for myself.

The bass is very, very tasty. Rich and full and so on time one would think there was a metronome in the bass-player's head. Unlike a lot of alt rock songs, the bass is not overdone, not underdone, but absolutely the perfect amount to punctuate each song.

The guitar is equally tasty and again, not overdone. This musician would find himself at home with any genre of music, I have a feeling.

Drums ... Stillframe has stumbled across a drummer I would strongly suggest they not get rid of. Another musician with a metronome in his head and one of the finest uses of cymbals and toms I've come across in my 50 years of living.

And vocals. The only criticism I have for the vocals is that there needs to be more harmony parts incorporated into their music. The lead vocals are outstanding, but the few times there is vocal harmony, the hair stands up on the back of my neck.

So, how much do I like this group? Stillframe is the cd that is in my car stereo right now and has been there since the day after I received this cd for review.

Keep on keepin' on Stillframe, I'm eagerly anticipating another album from you.

Shortly after writing this review I discovered Stillframe is a solo act - all vocals and instruments are Charlie Griggs. Has my opinion of the music changed? Not in the slightest. Has my admiration for the band Stillframe changed? Considerably - I have even more respect for the musicianship and creativity Charlie is capable of putting into his songs. The talent and drive required to produce an album of this caliber solo is almost beyond imagining.

TJR Music

Are you bummed that Soundgarden broke up? Are you a fan of Alice and Chains? Are you wondering where you can get more music like this? Look no further. Stillframe's debut album 'Deeper Than I Thought' will satisfy that need. This is dark, emotive heavy rock. This is tight guitar playing that understands playing with emotion over just playing it loud. This is hard rock that knows that sometimes it's the quietest moments that can scream the loudest at you. Stillframe is the solo project for indie band Shelter's rhythm guitarist Charlie Griggs. And Mr Griggs writes and records songs that understand your angst and gives you an outlet for it. Yes, there is a lot of darkness in this album. The music dances across barren and powerful landscapes of love scorned and love betrayed. But this is not a black album. This an album from a musician that knows that sometimes in life you have to travel in darkness before you can find light. No where is this more apparent than in the opening track 'Punish'. In this song you look at someone who refuses to see you for who you are, but rather how they insist on seeing you. But this song doesn't punish you. It sets you free and lets you step above those who project their own biases and prejudices against you. Like I said, if you miss bands like Soundgarden and Alice and Chains, Stillframe's 'Deeper Than I Thought', will give you that fix that you've been jonesing for.