Canada's Arts & Crafts imprint is dominated by acts that operate on the margins of rock rather than the dead center. That makes the Stills the white sheep of the family. On Oceans Will Rise, their latest recording, singer/guitarist Tim Fletcher and his crew present their songs in a very straightforward, audience-friendly manner, without the sort of oddball arrangements, genre-melding experiments or eccentric lyrics that mark, for example, the various projects associated with Broken Social Scene. As a result, the group doesn't stand out from the drove in quite the way its fellow Canucks do, particularly on ultra-commercial songs such as "Being Here," which seems specifically designed for fist-pumping. But the intelligence and economy of ditties like "Snakecharming the Masses" ultimately shine through, marking the Stills (appearing at the Fillmore with Kings of Leon and We Are Scientists) as worthy Arts & Crafts representatives despite their unusual normalcy.
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