San Francisco?s Still Flyin? was founded in 2004 by Sean Rawls (Masters of the Hemisphere, Je Suis France) in order to, as the press release states, use rocksteady ?as a starting point for uptempo pop.? At any given time the band has around fifteen members hailing from such bands as the Aislers Set, Ladybug Transistor, Love Is All, and Maserati to name a few. As strange and/or awful as it may seem to have indie rockers playing Jamaican-inspired music, the results of this second EP from the group are, well, surprisingly good.
If the Elephant 6, or perhaps Belle and Sebastian, had spent a lot more time listening to reggae, something akin to Still Flyin? may have been the result. The music itself is heavily orchestrated and manipulated pop music that happens to incorporate Jamaican rhythms. It is clear that the huge list of contributors is not just for show as the efforts of many musicians are apparent in the recording. Really, the EP comes across as a big musical party. Each song bursts with guitar, organ, xylophone, a full horn section, and a choir of backup vocalists.
This EP does not lack for great lyrical content. All of the songs are fairly lighthearted and a few are hilarious. The gem, ?When I say thunderstruck, I really mean fuck the stress? comes courtesy of the aptly named ?Fuck the Stress.? Also, the tune, ?Earthquake Body? delivers the line, ?I?m watching my house fall and I don?t care at all.? In terms of natural disaster/love songs, it may not be as deep as Neil Young?s ?Like a Hurricane,? but hey, this is a party record. Be sure not to miss the funny, profanity-laced rant against a giant, feathered stalker in ?The Bird is Aware,? either.
The whole concept of Still Flyin? may not seem like much on paper; but their music is truly worth checking out. ?Za Cloud EJ? is great because of the skilled musicians involved, but also because it?s just so much damn fun. This is simply a wonderful set of skillful pop music. 8/10 -- Matt Blackall (14 August, 2007)