Thursday, March 7, 2013

CD REVIEW: STRANGERS “Persona Non Grata”

STRANGERSPersona Non Grata
                When you listen to music like I do, you listen to a lot of music.   I feel like I’ve been listening to music since before I was born and discover so many new bands every day.   There is probably some ratio I could work out with it being something like “10 new bands every 7 seconds”, but I prefer not to do the math and fully realize just how much time I spend listening to music. 
                In any event, I’ve heard quite a number of bands that I like to compare things quite quickly and easily, but with STRANGERS it just isn’t that fast or simple.    They have a lot of rock elements to their sound, some of which you might recognize, but overall the biggest compliment I can pay them as a band is that they are unlike any other rock band I have heard before. 
                Assuming you don’t remember the band Purple Bosco (Why I know them I have no idea) I can tell you that this album starts off with the feel of something along the lines of QOTSA or Jimmy Eat World (“The Middle” era).    As “Persona Non Grata” progresses though the music becomes a bit darker, a bit heavier, which I feel is a great attribute in any album.   Bands like Trail of Dead and Soundgarden begin to show.    Songs like “Closer to Nowhere” just flat out rock.
                But what really defines this band for me is the distorted sludge rock quality of the song “Medication”.    There exists a certain genre of band that cannot be defined in a simple term or phrase.   Essentially, there is what we can refer to simply as the modern rock one hit wonder.   These could be bands like Spacehog or Marcy Playground, only instead of being really one hit wonders the fact is that their entire catalog of music is much better than that one song they’re known for playing.  (Hey, remember when The Flaming Lips were only known for that one song?)    Well, I feel like this one hit wonder modern rock band genre exists with bands now that have never been on the radio like Superdrag, Reacharound, 1000 Mona Lisas and Dandelion were.   And I feel like STRANGERS belongs in that category even though it doesn’t fully exist.   “Medication” could very easily be a radio hit- not to take anything away from it at all- and this could be that band that the real music fans remember years later while the mainstream forgets.  
                But it doesn’t matter that I don’t have a name for that genre.   I’m too lazy to look it up to see if it exists and too busy to make one up myself.   All you have to really know is that this album rocks in ways you wouldn’t believe.   Try it.

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