Influence or plagarism from the original Thrice cover band?
Roadrunner Records may have some indelible brownie points for being the label that released Glassjaw's 'Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence', but I associate them more with the macho-posturings of tiresome bands like Slipknot and Coal Chamber - all bark, some bite, no brains. Still Remains are thankfully a refreshing departure from the tough-guy metal of RR's standard output, but remove them from the confines of their family home and it is immediately apparent that they aren't as individual as they first appear.
The line between being influenced by a band and just downright copying them is a fine one, but I think it's fair to say that the line has been crossed when you no longer just sound like the band in question, but sound like you are actually playing their songs.
'Of Love And Lunacy' is packed full of the gothic operatics of Thrice's 'The Artist And The Ambulance', with their trademark blend of ultra-technical guitar lines, rapid-fire double-bass hits and palm-muted chuggery forming the very heart of SR's sound. There are some minor differences; Still Remains have a slight 80's power-metal hue to their more synth-heavy mix, and the vocals are more like PTW's Jeffrey Moreira than Thrice's Dustin Kensrue, but it's still similar enough to have you reaching for the case for a double-take.
What makes it all the more disappointing, is that SR are clearly a very good band. They have the requisite musical skill to pull off Thrice's uncompromisingly technical style, and do it with such competence and vigour that it actually sounds like Thrice, rather than a band trying to sound like Thrice.
It is important to remember that this is a debut release (well practically - they self-released an album and an EP prior to signing to RR), and I'm left in absolutely no doubt that if given the time to mature and discover some originality, they could produce an album of devastating quality. For now though, they should be filed under "one's to watch", and you should dig out your old Thrice records instead.