DownTown Mystic – Standing Still (CD)

Fresh off their 2007 effort, “Read The Signs”, DownTown Mystic have just cut their latest album, “Standing Still”. “Standing Still” represents an evolutionary step forward for the act, while still maintaining cohesion amongst the disc’s thirteen cuts. “Backdoor” starts out with a bit of blues-tinged rock that allows Robert’s vocals to approach the timbre and quality of a Warren Zevon or Jimmy Buffett. Despite having a sound that would easily work on classic rock stations, there is a vibrancy and technical brilliance to the track that will appease even those musicophiles.

“Believe” has a much slower lead-in than the up-front and in your face “Backdoor”, but the track keeps a bubbling exuberance barely kept in check. The track seems to rest on a different set of influences than the disc’s opening, with hints of Tom Petty or John Fogerty present.”Standing Still”, the disc’s titular track, tips the scales at 4:38. Where there seems to be a blending of the styles broached during both “Backdoor” and “Believe”, the most interesting aspect of the track has to be the challenging time signature present. One needs to listen to the quiet spaces on the track to fully understand what DownTown Mystic is attempting to do. Beyond that, the stair-step vocals that lead to the sizzling, affecting guitar solo turn “Standing Still” into the disc’s best track.

“Too Many Times” speeds things back up, while shifting the set of DownTown Mystic’s influences to reflect their love of sixties and seventies rock, be it CCR or the Moody Blues. There is a certain timelessness present on each of the album tracks on “Standing Still”, and nowhere is this better seen during “Shade of White Bluegrass”. The disc’s ultimate track, “Shade of White Bluegrass” has a sound that one may expect – a countrified, bluegrassy version of the rock that has been presented fans through the entirety of “Standing Still”. Cutting things short at the two and a half minute mark, DownTown Mystic put an emphatic exclamation point on what is a cogent and always strong album. There is a fullness present to the album that imbues the same warmth that seeing the act in a packed coffee house or bar would; each of the members here brings something that is then converted into something bigger and better.

Top Tracks: Standing Still, Shade of White Bluegrass

Rating: 8.3/10

DownTown Mystic – Standing Still / 2010 Sha-La Music, Inc. / 13 Tracks / http://www.shala.com / http://www.myspace.com/downtownmystic / http://www.artist.to/downtownmystic

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