Stagnant Pools at Jackrabbits – August 16

by Faith Bennett
There are shows that you dance to, shows you sit in the back of the bar and wish would end, shows you get rowdy at and then there are shows by bands like Stagnant Pools. Stagnant Pools is a noise rock duo from Bloomington, Indiana made up of brothers Bryan and Douglass Enas that is sure to play a show that will keep you attentive and on your feet if only to gaze at your shoes.

Noise rock was made most famous by such iconic bands as Sonic Youth, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Joy Division and Butthole Surfers in the eighties and nineties. The music of Stagnant Pools however leans closer to that of noise-rock’s shoegaze descendents like My Bloody Valentine and Pulp. The vocals still have low dreary Ian Curtis vibes, as do the lyrics, but the instruments have a poppier influence. The album overall clearly echoes the shoegaze of the 90s but still feels like it could fit on the soundtrack of a current MTV drama. “Maze of Graves,” with its own obviously gloomy title is one of the more upbeat songs musically on the album but its surpassed by “Dreaming of You,” a song with lyrics like “when you said you went away I was hoping it’d be forever.” The song is sort of an artpop ballad that goes with feelings of resentment and melancholy but isn’t so sad itself that anyone would cry to it. That’s essentially how the album is though, its a testament to young sorrow that runs just deep enough to make quality pop songs without too many sad side-effects. “Dead Sailor” is among other stand out tracks like “Solitude,” which seems the tightest as far as instruments go and is also the most reminiscent of British noise bands.

From media online (youtube videos, youtube commments and bloggers) it can be judged pretty easily that this isn’t a band that tends to disappoint. Show-goers spirits aren’t guaranteed to lift all the way out of sadness but there is little chance of them sinking. The new album which is titled Temporary Room was released just a few days ago on the 7th and is worth hitting up Bandcamp to listen to especially if you plan on seeing them at Jackrabbits on the 16th.