Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Strvngers : "Amor / Noir"


This gem was dropped in my in-box and was a lucky surprise. Dripping with a sex fueled rock edge to the vocals this is a departure from the tired dark wave of the 90's though still pays enough homage to that era so at times find grooves that remind me a little of Orgy.  Plenty of samples that sound like they could have been lifted from a porn help give the album's narrative. More layered and nuanced than their earlier work that owed more to bands like Aesthetic Perfection. Song's like "Fetisha" have nu-metal edge to their swelling dynamics , but the blood in the song's veins is more of a desperation conveyed in the smart and biting lyrics. The production on this album gives it a big arena filling sound. Sometimes the sound takes on more of a euro dance feel falling closer to Lords of Acid then at other times there is more of a cocky Mindless Self Indulgence vibe in the attitude that oozes from some of the songs. Where it excels at every turn is by their mastery of creating hooks that bring you back for multiple listens. 



The dynamic range of this albums goes from future pop with the vocals taking on more of a croon as the glide over bouncy anthems like "This Isn't a Phase" to more grandiose and cinematic swathes if apocalyptic majesty. "Hexxxed" has a slower bump and grind to it that reminds me a little of Marilyn Manson's "Apple of Sodom". The smoother pop groove of "Pink Coffin" is some what upbeat ,despite the lyrics, though the hook of "I don't give a fuck about anyone but myself" gives the song more attitude, as the edges of the song drip with the steamy porn sound bytes. A darker more industrial strength shadow falls over the stomp that rocks "Lethargy". This album doesn't just rely on cool beats, but has fantastic vocal lines that keep it compelling. In the album's third act , more guitar does begin to surface as it takes you down a much darker rabbit hole. I really love the more Depeche Mode like croon on the verses of "Porcelain". The chorus has a more explosive rock feel, but I think they achieve a perfect balance dynamically.

 Even as the album ends with more of a neon power ballad  you are caught up in the bleak longing this album invokes at varying speeds. This proved to be an infectious album that I found myself returning to many times over so it easily gets a 10 and it went straight to my iPod ,which is as big of a compliment as I can give any band. The real estate of gbs in my iPod is pretty competitive considering the amount of music I consume on any given day.
 

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