The brainchild and long-time musical project of Brandon Glen Strecker, S no S began in Western Kansas before moving to its current base in Los Angeles. Strecker’s experience in other bands primed him for his own music career, and his eclectic influences can be clearly seen in S no S’s debut release, entitled Season of the Brute.
Contrasting laid-back, swinging acoustic guitar strumming and ominous echoing metallic sounds, Strecker lays down crisp, staccato vocals over an ever-changing soundscape in “Vagabond Daddy,, a song layered with hints of rock n’ roll, country and experimental styles. Interesting percussion patterns and reverb-laced electric guitar form the base of “Games to Play,” a highly melodic power ballad.
Perhaps the most danceable intro in the entire record, a mandolin opens “Stranger Strange” with a repetitive, catchy riff, backed by a solid drum beat. The ending of this track explores spacey, ambient atmospheres, providing the listener a brief reprieve before diving into “Oh Me,” a beautiful piece characterized by arpeggiated chords and emotive lyrics. The next song “ A Particular Kind of Hell” alternates abruptly between dark, electric sounds and homey, calm acoustic sounds, adding a touch of mystery to the message of the song.
Striker exhibits his falsetto singing voice in “Inside Your House.” The tune begins with a subdued, balanced groove, and minimalist percussion provide the otherwise soft piece with a brisk foundation. A lively harmonica solo opens “The Season of the Brute,” a country-infused tune reminiscent of the Wild West and harvests on the plains, a theme that continues in “The Patron Saint of Where It All Went Wrong,” a track featuring lightning-paced banjo and various other stringed instruments.
“Goodbye Ghost” maintains a bright energy through its minor chords and wistful lyrics, then “Beautiful Ruins” brings the album to a close on a high note. Experimental elements combined with conventional rock themes make for a spectacular finale to Season of the Brute. Overall, this album is jam-packed with talent and novel musical ideas, and S no S will undoubtedly build upon its first success in the future.
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