April 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Plateau Below – Still Paradise

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Plateau Below

Still Paradise

Jurassic Pop

Street: 03.04

Plateau Below = Elf Power + Cliffs x Clouds Taste Metallic-era Flaming Lips

“Eris” opens this album with the driving mantras and quiet anxiety you heard from Modest Mouse on the Lonesome and Crowded West, though Plateau keeps it rounded with an almost Syd Barrett-esque psychedelic flourish. Quiet, sharp, impassioned vocals come in on “Riverside,” while the lyrics tell the gut-punching story of a man reduced to living beside a river. The song fills out with a splendid melody augmented by just-bouncy-enough bass and starry guitar strums before the vocals really start to cut, bringing Brand New to mind with a stirring combo of screams and sweetness. I listened, I listened again, I’m still listening. Tracks like “Twiggy” and “Dying Down” bring to mind Animal Collective, but without the big leaps from sanity—it’s smoother, more consistent, without being at all boring. It’s short, but there’s almost no fat. Still Paradise is the best indie album I’ve heard so far this year. –CJ Morgan
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