The Reign Of Kindo, Stolas, From Another Planet, RYNG
482 S Front Street
Columbus, OH, 43215
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is all ages
"Stolas are a supergroup composed of pure talent. What makes "Living Creatures" exceptional aren't just the technical prowesses, but the fact that these guys are having fun. Beneath the riffs and poignant lyrics, are dudes simply have a good time recording. It is easily identifiable as well as satisfying to attach to. Because they're having fun, we the audience can dive right in and feel comfortable. "Living Creatures" doesn't hold your hand, allowing you to immediately accommodate its rhythm. If you've followed their studio updates, you see them all cranking out tunes and working hard, but more importantly enjoying the company of friends. They aren't trying to break records or sales, just put something out that's based on the comradery. Ironically, what we get are ten tracks laced with metaphors, powerful vocals, ingenious songwriting, and bouncy yet hardcore riffs. "Living Creatures" flirts with empowering material as well as ambient tone, capitalizing on both.
If you're familiar with DGD and A lot Like Birds, you should feel right at home here. But comparing Stolas to them isn't fair since each has their own sound and patterns of writing. Nonetheless, Stolas have crafted a lofty ride. Songs designed to hit with a punch (Destroyer) do justice on the cortex, while others take cues from the likes of Deftones (Medusa). But even comparing Stolas to Deftones is unfair, their unique sound and engineering are difficult to pin down. Stolas sounds like...Stolas. But the hidden gems are surprising to discover. Moments of soft ambitions collide with some scathing crescendos (Our Last Night on Earth). Their trickery is what's captivating - gestating speed and thrash licks, transitioning into well placed calm sections (Time & the Sun, Destroyer). These moments are heavy, yet evocative(similar to the way Deftones operates) - huge heavy moments propagated by dreamy, transient sections.
The list of guest appearances adds even more substance to "Living Creatures." Stolas designed these songs to play to the strengths of the particular vocalist. They're appropriate for the tone of the record as well as signatures. As if they said, "Okay, We need the sound of Kurt Travis for this section because his voice can carry the tone." They're not used as filler or simply to say, "Hey this dude is on here." Jonny Craig's delivery in "Panic" should have the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, while Tillian's on "Year of the Light" demands a boisterous sing along. Donovan Melero's incredible pitch in "Circuit Theory" is nothing short of perfect. The crescendo of "Captured Light" is enhanced with Cory Lockwood, capping off the record with one final barrage.
It's rare nowadays to find truly creative lyrics. More often than not, they are a shallow entity of records. That's not to say bands aren't electric and get the blood pumping. But truly thought provoking lyrics are somewhat of a lost cause. Stolas interweave clever lyrics, metaphors, and stark imagery to adhere to the overall narrative. Each song is a component of a larger picture. Sometimes large geographical locations serve as metaphors, or ghosts become haunting phantoms that inevitably force change. Each track is laced with some illusion to further the idea of a "Living Creature." There is a heavy convergence at the end of "Captured Light" that resolves the arc of the entire album.
Carlo, Sergio, RJ, and Jason worked hard to give fans something they could sink their teeth into. "Living Creatures" is a dense, enjoyable listen with moving lyrics. Sonically, the ten tracks provide enough content to consider their structure and art form. Ladies and gentlemen, "Let's Pull The Strings...""