Stagnant Pools
Geist


1.5
very poor

Review

by Nash J. CONTRIBUTOR (36 Reviews)
June 18th, 2014 | 16 replies | 1,006 views


Release Date: 06/10/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stagnation

Merely two years since the release of their debut, and shoegaze duo Stagnant Pools are already living up to their name. While Temporary Room was by no means a great album, suffering from formulaic structures and repetitive tonalities, it did possess certain defining characteristics that made it enjoyable and consistently engaging. Each song was repetitive, but never to a fault. In fact, over the course of Temporary Room, it was difficult not to fall into a trance as uplifting psychedelic melodies unravel themselves in the midst of heavy drum patterns and noisy static. Where Temporary Room lacked in depth, it made up for in creativity, paving the way for a follow-up that would flesh-out the band’s many ideas and offer something significantly more substantial. Unfortunately, Geist, the band’s sophomore release, seems to have a different agenda.

A misstep in practically every way, Geist has Stagnant Pools taking a noisier and more simplistic approach to their music. The approach results in an ugly, cacophonous mess that not only retains the faults of its predecessor, but actually worsens those faults tenfold. The album’s sound is simply dull, hindered considerably by its terrible production. Here, guitars sound utterly lifeless, and instrumentation is loud and harsh. The most notable issue with album’s production, however, are the vocals. While Brian Enas’s vocal approach was rather bland on Temporary Room, his voice always had a rhythm to it that served to texturize the gorgeous melodies. Here, however, his vocals have been significantly turned up in volume to the point where his voice is louder than every other instrument. Although his vocals are equally as lifeless as the tone of the guitars, they are shoved into the foreground of the music, causing the instruments in the background to form a wall of discordant noise on songs such as “Filed Down” and “Dots and Lines.” The biggest change on this album from the band’s debut is its pacing. Each song has been slowed down, and is mostly devoid of tempo changes. The slow, boring pace Stagnant Pools have chosen to adopt only highlights the album’s most obvious issue: its repetition. There is little to no structural or tonal variation over the course of the album. Each song begins in near-exactly the same fashion, and seems to drag endlessly as more layers and textures are piled up. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad if the instrumentation didn't lack creativity or inspiration of any sort. Drum patterns are generic and alternate little as a track progresses, and the soundscapes throughout the album are so devoid of color that the individual melodies of each song are easily forgotten once it ends. Each song is so similar that differentiating between tracks on Geist is quite a difficult task, making the album so boring to sit through that its meager length of thirty-two minutes feels nearly tripled.

It is staggering to believe that Geist is genuinely the follow-up to Temporary Room. Between its subpar production and dull instrumentation, the entire album plays out like an old demo compilation that does nothing more than hint at the band’s potential. To point out the flaws on Geist is simply to state the flaws of its predecessor; Stagnant Pools show no willingness to improve, and seem entirely content to live up to their name.



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1.5
very poor
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SPRFanOf5H
June 17th 2014



227 Comments


Short but great review, definitely not buying this.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014



5400 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Really tried to step outside of my comfort zone and review something from a genre I'm not very
familiar with, so this was pretty fun to write. Hopefully this review turned out ok, and as always,
constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

This album can be found here:
http://stagnantpools.bandcamp.com/album/geist

Digging: Jimmy Eat World - Clarity

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014



5400 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Damn SPRFan, that was quick haha. And thanks man, I think this is the actually my shortest review yet.
Yeah I really wouldn't advise buying this, their debut wasn't half bad though if you're interested in
the genre.

GmemberKills
June 17th 2014



757 Comments


Man nice review. Is anything by this band worth checking? I'm always looking for shoegaze.

SPRFanOf5H
June 17th 2014



227 Comments


Loved Temporary Room, solid start but this one was way off. Took a listen to some of their new tracks and I was really disappointed.

Hopefully they'll put out better material next time around than this, won't bother buying this.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014



5400 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@GmemberKills: Thanks dude. As I said before, Temporary Room was pretty good if you're looking for a
solid fix of shoegaze. They have another album called Real Lies but I can't seem to find it online and
it's not on the band's bandcamp page so I don't know what the hell it is.

@SPRFan5h: I really hope so too. Considering their debut had so much promise and room to improve, I
was not prepared for this to be as disappointing as it was. Damn shame.

GmemberKills
June 17th 2014



757 Comments


Yeah you made it seem like Temporary Room was decent from the review. Since you say its pretty good and SPRF digs it i'll check it out. It sucks to know if i like it that the follow up will be a disappointment though.

laughingman22
June 17th 2014



1554 Comments


hmm where did this album come from, Judio you don't seem like one to seek out a obscure shoegaze album

Digging: Casualties of Cool - Casualties of Cool

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014



5400 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm trying to expand my reviewing horizons and take a stab at something I normally would glance right
over. And I liked their debut so I was hoping this one would be good too so I could give the band more
exposure, but nope.

ArsMoriendi
June 17th 2014



3888 Comments


This well written review says this album sucks, so I'm obviously not going to listen to this. Pos'd the review though.

I just came here to say that Stagnant Pools is a terrible name for a band that makes it seem like the band itself thinks their music is boring.

Digging: R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant

sixdegrees
June 17th 2014



16917 Comments


so...

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

treefingered2
June 18th 2014



158 Comments


never heard of these guys but they sound right up my alley, sucks this new one wasnt so good. nice review.

Digging: I Wrote Haikus About Cannibalism... - iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyour...

BMDrummer
June 18th 2014



6012 Comments


Nice review, and nice summary.

So...

Digging: J Mascis - Tied to a Star

Futures
June 18th 2014



9607 Comments


no

Digging: Silversun Pickups - Carnavas

BMDrummer
June 18th 2014



6012 Comments


Haven't listened to much beyond MBV tbh

Futures
June 18th 2014



9607 Comments


slowdive- souvlaki



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