Good Foundation, Decent Record
Standish/Carlyon are two-thirds of indie rock outfit Devastations and are entirely ethereal in their debut LP, Deleted Scenes. Tracks meld together through a smattering of space-age effects and throwback beats with a kind of European timelessness well shy of electrogods Boards of Canada. For a first missive sent out into the world of electronic music, Deleted Scenes is a relatively even effort into a new genre for Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon. Opener “Critics Multiply” (which has got to be ambient shorthand for “haters gonna hate”) teeters between echoey clicks of percussion and full-force harmonies swirling around the occasional sliding bass.
Just about the catchiest track on the album, of course, has the most ridiculous title. “Gucci Mountain” may not be an energized party jam, but its cascading blips and beats elevate it to a song for multiple occasions. “Gucci Mountain” is just as much nap soundtrack to as it is driving music; something you can use as a sonic blanket for a breezy car ride with the windows rolled down. Textures play an important role in the Standish/Carlyon aesthetic. The crashes that usher in “New People” contrast beautifully with the saw of pseudo-string harmonies dotting the industrial-sized soundscape and really, Standish/Carlyon sound best at their most expansive.
The minimalism that cuts through just about every other song on Deleted Scenes is like a mass of B-roll on the cutting room floor. Subdued tracks like “Nono Yoyo” and “Moves, Moves” aren’t just repetitive in name. The long-winded strokes of minimalism are background music at the most. Faint sparks of a more fully formed track rear their heads with the occasional addition of say, a treble-happy bass riff rolling through the middle of “Nono Yoyo”. Deleted Scenes is a clean record but ultimately a mixed bag. Standish/Carlyon have all the potential in the world to stave of a sophomore slump, however. Their debut sets a solid foundation for things to come.