Thursday, January 16, 2020

Album Review: Mel Stirling - Standing To Fall (EP)

Mel Stirling
Standing To Fall
*** out of *****

The first solo offering from Los Angeles-based Australian artist, Mel Stirling is titled Standing to Fall and it is a rocking effort that soars with arena ready riffs and singalong hooks.

A throw back to an alt-rock 90's sound the record is chock full of ringing guitars, layers of production and metallic heaviness. Stirling's voice rises above it all with clear power as the EP kicks off with "Slipping Slowly", a straight ahead grungy rocker which adds layers of distortion and power to close while "Leave It Behind" switches gears and moves to pop rock with an upbeat strum, synths and a bouncy low end.

The title track is the most nuanced on the EP as pianos and army of guitars (acoustic and electric) overpower everything but Stirling's soaring vocals; if anything there is too much crammed into the song resulting in an extra weighty five and half minutes. "Pain and Waiting" stays dramatic, but is more successful as it strips back the guitar layers and increases the piano work, ominous undertones and soaring vocals.

The production is top notch, having been recorded and mastered at Alchemix Studios in Brisbane’s West End, Australia. Stirling's voice is the clear star, however sometimes the overloaded musical backing takes away from her strength on the record.

"Kamikaze" calls to mind some of the rock epics from Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion days with drawn out drama over heavy drums and increasing instrumentation before album closer "Here And Now" wraps up Standing to Fall back on the pop rock front with shimmering guitar lines proving Mel Stirling can go both direct or over the top with her alt-rock style. 
Support the artist, buy the album and stream it on her site, also peep some video:

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