For my very first blog post ever, I thought I’d write up a review on the recently released Sonic Erotica by the band Strvngers (pronounced “strangers”). One of the first things you might assume when sitting down to this album is that a lot of it was inspired by the soundtracks of every cheesy action flick from the 80’s, and you’d be correct. They almost named themselves “Kurt Hustle” for fuck sakes. The 80’s style darkwave/electro feel of this album hit really close to home with me, as I do have a bit of a soft spot for that old school, gothy kind of stuff.
What to say about the album? Musically, the beats are pumping, and aren’t simply a bunch of canned loops. Every note, every beat and every melody was painstakingly laid out by Kyle Craig. The 80’s new wave synth pop influence shines through in every song in some form or another, and I freakin love it. As a synth player myself, I give mad props to Kyle for the spectacular work he put into crafting every song. After typing this, I feel I should add… The feeling I got from the Pirate Life Radio interview was that the music was more Kyle’s territory, if I am mistaken, Maria I apologize.
The vocals, supplied by Maria Joaquin, are somewhat of an acquired taste. There’s a fair amount of singing in key which lends itself to more poppy and dancy melodies, but then he shifts gears and starts tossing in dissonant notes that give the vocal melodies a darker tone. The lyrical theme of the album is based on good and bad relationships, and the juxtaposition of the consonant and dissonant vocal melodies helps to convey just that. I’ve always held the belief that a bit of dissonance will always have its place, as it adds a lot to musical composition. It also adds to the darkwave/gothy feel of the album.
Further more… Despite the fact that if you looked him up, Maria may appear in photos sporting a decent set of sin pillows, and the main actor in the Nostalgia video was clearly a woman (who goes by Pauley Revere), Maria is the vocalist, and he’s all man. From what I’ve seen, the gender confusion that has been created (likely not entirely by accident) seems to delight Maria to no end.
The time for singing praises is over. Well, not really, but I will say that I’m not a slow song kind of guy, and a few of the tracks on Sonic Erotica are a bit slow/chill for my tastes. That’s not to say that I hated them by any means. This album will always have a place in my regular playlist, though depending on my mood, I will likely skip over the slower tracks when they come up. It just comes down to personal preference, and slow/chill just ain’t my bag baby. On a positive note, I’m not saying I’ll never listen to them again if they were played in a “background music” type of setting, I’d be down as fuck with it!
Now let’s get into the numbers shall we? The tracks, for me, rank as follows…
1- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2- Dressed to Kill
(These two are actually pretty much interchangeable actually, but they can’t both be #1. In fact, I originally had them reversed.)
5- Epilogue (Good Riddance)
6- Stay With Me
8- Xx / Yx
9- Chemically Enslaved
I was going to set up some sort of rating system, but fuck it. (haha, “butt fuck”). I thought the album was damn good and think that everyone should give it a shot. What more can you really say anyway?
With that, I will wrap up my very first official review. Do yourself a solid and head on over to bandcamp.com and pick up Sonic Erotica by Strvngers today. It’s ‘pay what you want’ so name your price. If you get it for free and like it, go back and toss them some coin, or at least share it with your friends. If you want to disregard your parents’ advice and talk to Strvngers, you will find links to all their stuff below.
– Band Camp: https://strvngers.bandcamp.com/
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strvngers
– Official Website: http://strvngers.com/
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/strvngersband
– Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/strvngers
P.S. The Strvngers CD release show is on Saturday March 12th, 2016 at The Vat in Red Deer, AB. If the date hasn’t passed yet and you dig their stuff, you may as well pack your friends into the most reliable vehicle you’ve got and make a road trip out of it.