"Never Gonna Touch the Ground"
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The mega anticipated début album from San Francisco's ultimate party band! First single, "Good Thing it's a Ghost Town Around Here" set the bar beyond the stratosphere, and now Still Flyin' follow through with an entire album's worth of the good hammjamm! Besides their well-toked reggae/party default setting, we now discover Sean Rawls and co. are equally adept at the penetrating slo-jams ("Following the Itinerary", "Haunted Houses") and high energy thunder-jams ("Ghost Town", "Dead Memory Man"), as well as the insanely catchy "world-pop" of second single "The Hott Chord is Struck". Mixed in Melbourne by Haima Marriott with help from Gus Franklin (AiH) and Isobel Knowles (ex-AiH), throughout the album, we hear a tower of chunky horn riffs, some of the most soulful bass playing this side of Tommy Cogbill, and plenty of call-and-response vocals between Rawls and the Flyinettes. It's time to take those shoes off, my friend — you won't be needing those where you're headed!
1) Never Gonna Touch the Ground
2) Following the Itinerary
3) Forever Dudes
4) Good Thing It’s a Ghost Town Around Here
5) Act of Jamming
6) The Hott Chord is Struck
7) No Go-Kart Ideas
8) Haunted Houses
9) Dead Memory Man
10) Ginko Biloba
11) Aerosmith Take Me to the Other Side
Good-time San Franciscans with a soft spot for our Oz
Still Flyin’ are led by Sean Rawls, who frequently has 15 or more people on stage with him, blending Caribbean rhythms, soulful horns and no shortage of pop hooks. Excellent single Good Thing It’s A Ghost Town Around Here combines skankable rhythm and anthemic pop in a manner than recalls the post-punk 2 Tone sounds that came from the UK in the late 1970s. Meanwhile, The Hottchord Is Struck blends rocksteady, disco and the indie-pop party massed vocals of Architecture Of Helsinki. Although it is apparently in the live format where Still Flyin’ make the most sense (they were a pleasant surprise for many people at Laneway, where we will get to see them again early next year), even on record they have a quite artful ability to combine loose-limbed jamming with melodic focus. It’s one of those cases where too many cooks haven’t spoilt the broth – make no mistake, there’s a lot happening on this album, with multiple vocalists, horns, elaborate percussion, vibraphones, melodicas and much more adding to the record’s dense sonic brew. However, the many-membered collective don’t forget the tunes and these kitchen sink arrangements also comes with plenty of singalong moments.
" Matt Thrower, Rave, Brisbane
"If you thought all the prime real estate in life-affirming collective-pop had been snapped up already by the likes of Broken Social Scene, The Polyphonic Spree, Animal Collective, et al, then think again! Sean Rawls and the rag-tag crew of 14 musos that make up San Francisco’s Still Flyin’ have parked their party bus in the neighbourhood and taken up a prominent residence with their debut album Never Gonna Touch The Ground.
The album takes a trip through some of the most treacherous regions of indie pop imaginable and emerges miraculously unscathed. Tackling the hard stuff first, the front end jams through psych-dub with the strung-out title track, into the rocksteady chants of ‘Following The Itinerary’ and then horn-filled party ska in ‘Forever Dudes’. After a white-boy-instrumental-funk interlude, ‘The Hottchord Is Struck’ brings the album to an 80s-teen-movie-sax-pop crescendo. ‘Haunted Houses’ is a standout amongst stiff competition, with its eerily ecstatic orchestration and measured production, as is the folky ‘Ginko Biloba’, the closest Still Flyin’ seem to come to being melancholically grounded. ‘Aerosmith, Take Me…’ caps off with a euphoric twee pop tribute to the seductions of rock‘n’roll – you know, drugs, death, hell, Satan, that kind of thing.
Still Flyin’ make what could otherwise have been a scary, incongruent genre-fest into something that just effortlessly, impressively makes sense. More than that, with its constant reference to jamming, partying on buses, brews and hi-fives, Never Gonna Touch The Ground is so consuming and potently fun that you’ll find yourself pressuring your friends to join your new jam band and toying with the idea of investing in a party bus yourself." Dan Lewis, Time Off, Brisbane
"San Francisco white reggae big band Still Flyin’ wowed crowds at last year’s Laneway Festival, up to 20 people from various US indie rock bands (with a few Australian ring-ins) crowded onstage playing anthemic big band jams. First album Time Wrinkle didn’t quite capture the scope or the silliness of the live experience, but thankfully Never Gonna Touch The Ground is rich, full and suitably throbbing in the bottom end. This time around the reggae vibe is submerged into a more general party atmosphere, which would be a touch disappointing if it weren’t for the adundance of pop classics like Good Thing It’s A Ghost Town Around Here and Aerosmith, Take Me… Definitely a great summer high.
Key Track: Haunted Houses is spooky, stupid, fun and beautiful all at the same time." Guy Blackman, **** The Age, Melbourne