I’m not sure how to take the cover art for Unlearned by The Strid. It seems to be some sort of subterranean creature flipping off god knows what. I’d like to know the thought process behind that one. Anyway The Strid is a duo from Portland. That's all the background info I got. They released a lo-fi six-song EP which shows some potential.
The singer sounds young and undeniably a little nasally. He probably won’t be winning any singing competitions but his voice worked for most of the music in my opinion. Much like in the case of Issac Brock of Modest Mouse or Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. Musically, the songs sound like a full band and the genre was hard to pinpoint.
The first song may have been my favorite, I really thought the first thirty seconds were the best part of the song. They hit this shoegaze Jesus and Mary Chain vibe that works. When the vocals came into the song it wasn't what I was expecting. It grew on me as the song progressed but the song goes into a couple of direct directions. Some ideas worked better than others in the song. There are points where he is practically rapping which felt rather random.
Up next is “Things I Forgot.” This song has some of the best vocal delivery on the verse because of the harmonies. Like the previous track some sections seemed to clearly work better than others.
“It Has To Go Somewhere” is a fairly straightforward song with some palatable hooks while “Moons, Mights, and a Little Bit of Magic” is a slow moving ballads of sorts. The highlight was “The Jimmy Legs.” I’m not sure why but the song sounded a little better produced. The unique vocal style also works on this song. The last song “When Grace Falls” is down right silly when it comes to the lyrics.
This band falls into a case of wait and see but they do have a couple things going for them. I like the fact that they are mixing in different genres and their style is quite unique. The delivery here and there could use some improvements which could be helped further along with a pro studio and a little more practice.
Overall, this is a solid EP which I hope is just the beginning of their development.
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