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Stairwell | Sounds of Change | review | rock | Lollipop


The Sounds of Change (Hopeless)
by Ewan Wadharmi

Every other band these days is mysteriously compared to Cheap Trick. But once you hear the arena rock arrangement of "Boxcar," you'll agree that the comparison applies here. And if we're naming names, throw in a little Styx for good measure - I mean that in a harmonic, produced large way. Subtract any Tommy Shaw cheese preconceptions.

Stairwell are unapologetic in creating music for themselves, which makes for a liberating listen. Non-traditional arrangements are fully fleshed out, so there's no waiting period to grow on you. All the work has been done, and it feels less cynical than your average Hopeless band. In fact, this is the most positive, hopeful pop rock to come around without Goo-Goo Eyed Blind sap in a long time. No glossing over negativity or, conversely, puffed-up angst. Instead, a mature approach that expresses honest emotion that jumps into the rolling guitar builds. The broad appeal should encompass those just weaning off of Blink 182, Britpop enthusiasts, as well as the brooding cardigan/glasses set. Like the Saturn, it's for what comes next.
(PO Box 7495 Van Nuys, CA 91409)


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