Stirling: The Fall Of The Winter Palace

[17 July 2007]

By Jason MacNeil

When you have a song that revolves around a Canadian downhill skier (and one that isn’t as well known, even in Canada) well my dear people you damn well better have the music to back it up. And Stirling is stellar in that regard. With a sound that is equal parts Interpol, The Strokes and Editors, tracks such as the angular, infectious “Longest Fall” make one take notice instantly. The Cure-ish “Ostalgia” is another keeper that starts slow but is layered perfectly with guitars and a deep, rich, bass line. But perhaps the best complement that can be given is that a song like “Idaho Highs” sounds like it was better suited for Pulp’s His N Hers album than one or two of the tracks that actually made it. This is especially more evident with the ensuing hi-hat heavy, dance-rock “These Too Safe Seas”. Meanwhile, the group also shines on the radio-friendly pop rock gem “Burton & Taylor” and the equally adorable “Under the Pavement”. Fans of Brit pop should cherish a band and an album as terrific as this!

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/stirling-the-fall-of-the-winter-palace/