CD Review: Still Standing “Black and White”

Still Standing is a modern rock band with a knack for writing catchy, hard-hitting melodies. The band is comprised of identical twins Justin and Johnny Santoro (sons of guitarist Tony Santoro) and the masterful drummer, Alex Zarzycki. Beginning in 1998, the trio began to mark their mark on the punk rock scene in Philly, but then moved to L.A., ultimately hooking up with renowned songwriter and producer Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Papa Roach). “Black and White”, their new full-length release, is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication.

Still Standing is bursting with commercial readiness, exuding the right look and attitude, but most important they’ve delivered a record filled with fantastic radio-friendly songs. They touch upon most of the themes boys their age can relate to, from the troubled love of “I Can’t With You”, to the pensive longing for solitude (“Leave Me Alone”), to the inspirational anthems like “Never Be Afraid” and “Suck It Up”. The sonic quality is amazing and the hooks in the choruses will have you humming along with a fist in the air in no time – definitely one of those CDs best played loud.

There really isn’t a bad song in the batch, but my favorites include the driving opener “Never Be Afraid”, the chilling “Do You Believe” (“Do you believe that tragedy can make you see what’s alive is dying slowly?”), and the excellent power ballad, “I Can’t With You”. The entire record is brilliantly consistent – all of the songs have the same meaty guitars and full sound – but like the twins themselves, the songs have enough nuance to keep them from sounding identical.

With their perfect blend of hard rock and punk, mixed with pop sensibilities, Still Standing is ready to take the world by storm. I’d recommend Still Standing for fans of Simple Plan, New Found Glory, or SR-71.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10

Still Standing on MySpace. Official site.

Check out a special live acoustic version of the song “I Can’t With You”: