Stirling The View From Here

At one point I used to talk about the Canadian shoegazing revival, but the sporadic releases that actually fitted that description means that it probably didn't happen. There was Sianspheric (at least to begin with), and Mellanova, but after that the list grinds to a halt, although we can now add Edmonton's Stirling. Stirling sound like Slowdive and Spiritualized and their ilk, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, they do a pretty good job of evoking memories of those times gone by with walls of guitars spiralling around austere vocals. But the problem is that there are absolutely no surprises here at all, because after listening to just the first song you know where the rest are going. Only the more melodic closer "The Broadcast," with its Talk Talk-like vocals and denser orchestration, which doesn't just rely on guitars, shows what the band could be capable of with a little more imagination. (Independent)