Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stream of Consciousness (Still time)

The 5 piece Still Time, part funk, part reggae, part acoustic rock jam-band, from San Louis Obispo, CA pleases with their newest album, Stream of Consciousness. It’s a 14-track album of fun party music that takes you to California regardless of your locale.

Track 1, Chuck Johnson Spur, jumps from the speakers in a vintage funk/jam band instrumental track paving the way for what’s ahead – a solid opener and introduction. 9 to 5 then kicks off with a back beat acoustic rhythm and sax lead line that introduces Dan’s very Jack Johnson meets Citizen Cope melodies and vocal fluidity. It’s a repetitive song with a falsetto chorus that’s easy to sing along to. My favorite part though is the guitar work at around 4:10 bringing the song to bed with a catchy jammed out solo.

Power of Now uses an uber-catchy delay effect that corresponds nicely with the bass and drums to change it up a bit from the Jack Johnson sound that is so simple, yet popular in today’s music scene. Its in this song that Dan’s voice moves to a more early Counting Crows sound – Adam Duritz in his pre-Shriek days. Catchy and quirky lyrics would surely make “Mr. Jones” smile.

As the album continues it strikes gold on track 6, Fall and Rise. It’s a two-step driven tune that really enables the California boys to cross many styles, sounds, and geographic locations (music wise). The solo is done with ease as it changes the entire pace of the song – not too angular, but doesn’t just hash out the same ole’ stuff, as one would maybe expect within the genre.

Know Your Roots slows things down considerably as it takes on the stripped down effect of a couple friends hanging out in your living room, singing their favorite tunes. Perhaps placing this song a few songs earlier in the CD would have given it greater props, but all in all it’s a good ride.

The title track also is a nice departure from the reggae/jam-band sound as it soothes the ears with pop string arrangements and beautiful vocal harmonies. If I we’re sorting the tracks into order I again, would have placed this one at track 3 or 4; it’s a nice strong piece that breaks their mold and keeps me listening and wanting more. I’m afraid listeners that aren’t sold out on the overall genre might miss this one.

All in all, the album is very solid. The recordings are executed near perfectly for their sound. If you’re fans of Counting Crows, Citizen Cope, Jack Johnson, and/or Pseudopod, you’ll love these guys! Find them online or catch a live show.

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

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