Review: Skyscraper Stan – Golden Boy Vol I and II

Melbourne-based Kiwi songsmith Skyscraper Stan’s (Stan Woodhouse) folk-rock wordplay continues at the forefront of his second full-length release. 

‘Golden Boy Vol.I and Vol.II’ presents itself in the same vein as his 2015 release ‘Last Year’s Tune’, whereby Stan builds his sound on Americana, country and folk-rock rhythms, and riffs that move with the flow of his lyrical and melodic cadences.

The album’s instrumental arrangement combines slick rhyming schemes with polished production – tight drums, twangy guitars, thudding bass lines, and cool female backing harmonies. Combined with Stan’s imaginative storytelling it makes for a compelling listen. His deep drawl sits clear above the solid instrumentation and his words fall in structured pattern. His voice, pronouncing vowels with a Kiwi signature, at moments growls, at times wails and wavers, providing the captivating foundation for his stories.

The songs here document tales of outlaws, mythic figures, desperate places and times – often old-worldly and sometimes outlandish. The worlds of the album may simply be fictitious, or hyper-real reflections of his own experiences, but they are used to infuse moments of knowing wisdom.

Several listens may be required to glean the singer/songwriter’s intentions, but his explicit and selective detail forms distinct landscapes into which the listener is readily drawn, and carried away by.