Best '80s Flashback That's Also a Fun-Ass Indie Pop Band - 2012
Cue up the pastel blazers, white sunglasses, Ferrari convertibles, gated snare drums, and pervasive reverb more humid than a Miami afternoon: Indie-pop band Still Flyin' is the best '80s flashback-as-rock-band in S.F. these days, conjuring all the Reagan-era radio glory you were barely old enough to identify as music the first time around. A beloved fixture on the local scene and the international tour circuit, Still Flyin' is led by one Sean Rawls, who has enough conspirators to turn his party-happy music project into a sometimes dozen-strong army of joy onstage. This is good, because the songs on Still Flyin's excellent sophomore album, On a Bedroom Wall, teem with activity: Itchy drum beats, buzzing synth melodies, and scratchy mutterings from electric guitars cleaner than Margaret Thatcher's sheets. Thankfully, Rawls' voice doesn't get submerged in reverb, leaving him to sing plainly, with an earnestness and sincerity that many other '80s-conjurers lack. For all its synth-tastic vibes, in fact, the best thing about Still Flyin's music is how it feels inspired by the past, but not beholden to it. So on second thought, maybe leave your salmon-colored blazer at home.