Music Reviews


The Iconic Spell

Level Plane

Spain’s Standstill may be unjustly ignored now that The Iconic Spell gets its US release a couple of years after it first hit Europe. Not because Standstill don’t deserve every last bit of attention coming their way, but because a fickle audience has been overexposed to mediocre-to-shit emo bands, and is beginning to tire of lies about who is the “next big thing.” However, if you like your emo hard and aggressive, and respect a band daring to leave the listener suspended through long instrumental parts, you should definitely give Standstill a chance.

Standstill are very similar to At the Drive-in, although their unique songwriting talent and their passionate performance ensure they never come across as copycats. From the exhausting “Angelica” to the driven “Sunrise People in Sunset Days,” Standstill deliver hard and brave emo that’s catchy but not blatantly so; they’re clever yet approachable. Standstill are uncompromisingly energetic, but never at the expense of complex dynamics and held-back tension. The Iconic Spell offers more than enough evidence that Standstill don’t kid around, as do the many years spent touring Europe, clearly reflected in the tight ferocity displayed here.

Level Plane Records:

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