I Will Never Be The Same - Standby

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I Will Never Be The Same - Standby
Written By: Tim Bannock

Label: Self-Released - Rating:

The perfect marriage between live instrumentation and electronic atmospherics is something that hasn't been realized since Trent Reznor decided to grow some rather large nails. Los Angeles-based I Will Never Be The Same effortlessly steps into these shoes - very hard to fill - and proves that the multi-instrumentalist/song writer/producer can turn their apartment into the home base of an evil mastermind.

Overall, Standby comes across as a mix of really strong electronica (from the rave-tastic opening chords of "I'm Not the One" to the haunting ambience of "Starfields") and hyper-melodic rock ("Worldless" and "Speak"). The variety on this disc is amazing, as it veers into the dancefloor stomp of "Motherfucker Burn" and the crushingly riff-laden hooks of "All For You" (equal parts power ballad and monster rocker). "Last Goodbye" is a trippy, acoustic psychedelia that features slick effects on the vocals and music, and is followed up by the piano-driven, dark ambient "Set Your World on Fire."

Worried the album's going to be too goth? "Superfuck" is an instrumental guitar jam. Worried it's going to be too much like Nine Inch Nails or Orgy? "Eyes Turning Black" is an atmospheric track that's more reminiscent of Phil Collins' experimental stuff. Need something more melodic? Check out their cover of "Cry Little Sister," the theme from Lost Boys. This disc has no boundaries, and none of the tracks come off as filler, with the instrumental "Prelude" building perfectly toward the rock-oriented electronics that unfold on this disc. At its worst, Standby might border on being a little too radio-friendly for some people's tastes, but its clear this is an outfit that is more than comfortable with experimentation, so any doubts of that nature will fade fast as the album explores ample territory.

That the entire album was written, produced and recorded by one man - Josh Atchley - is just more icing on an already delicious cake. It's clear that this was a labor of love based on the strength of the album's entire sound. Clear production means that every piece of electronica isn't lost under the pounding live drums nor the chugging guitars nor the keyboard/guitar tradeoff solo on the second track. A real drum set gives way seamlessly to thumping percussion samples, and guitars die out on distorted notes as clipped dance chords come screaming in to take you away on a halcyon journey to synesthesia. If that doesn't make sense to you, it's time you give this album a listen and join your flesh and blood with the circuits and keys that pervade Standby. Indeed, you will never be the same.

Like I Will Never Be The Same? Check out: Tweaker, Razed In Black, Orgy

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