Ryan Stanley This Mountain is a Hill

Ryan Stanley is self-proclaimed "bedroom recorder,” whose pop rock songs are well worth a listen. Until recently he played in GTA emo hall-of-famers the Vermicious Knid, but he’s been recording solo since 2000. This Mountain is a Hill is a collection of self-recorded songs, featuring the artist’s wife on drums — a "bedroom partner,” so to speak. Stanley gets to the point on these — he doesn’t noodle around or play up the lo-fi factor — his songs are unassuming and economical. He avoids sounding emotionally overwrought, which we all know is a frequent pitfall for post-emo solo acts — he just plays good tunes for his own pleasure and for anyone that happens upon them. The obvious comparison is Sebadoh (albeit without the Lowenstein touch), and aside from purely musical similarities, Stanley, like Lou Barlow, seems happy putting things together on his own. Toronto’s math rock players of yesteryear seem to be growing up and quieting down, and it’s not disappointing at all. (Ford Plant)