In less than a year the prolific band Serrated Joy has come out another album entitled A Stranger Stranger which build on the success of their first album Eyes. It seems they also may have changed their name.
They are still a guitar band fusing different sub genres of rock like post-punk, alternative and shoegaze. One example of this is the opener “Reaper.” The vocals low lay in the mix in classic shoegaze style while the root notes on the verse bring to mind a band like Joy Division. When the chorus comes the band veers towards ’90s alternative than anything else. On top of that the song is just plain catchy. Great opener!
Up next is “All Death” which isn’t quite as bleak as the title implies. The verse got my attention. The vocals are softly sung with inventive guitar and bass lines. They follow a similar pattern to the first song by stepping on the distortion and getting loud during the chorus. It’s an effective formula that saw its peak in the ’90s but still sounds good to my ears.
The loud and soft dynamics play through the rest of the album but sometimes they just nail it. “Hand Sail” is the band at their most inventive and dynamic. There are hints of post-rock here as the band gets into epic territory. There are a copious amount of changes that all happen within a couple of seconds Great stuff. The other standouts to my ears were ”Made if Glue” and “How To Be Something All Alone By Yourself with Nothing.” Don’t miss these songs.
The more I listened to the band the more I wanted to revisit my favorite ’90s bands like Hum and Yo la Tengo. It’s a sound that you don’t hear quite as often these days as the radio seems to be filled with a lot of EDM, synth pop and flashy rock bands.
Serrated Joy isn’t reinventing the wheel here but the songs are solid with a couple of gems. Fans of ’90s rock will be happy with this release.
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