The west coast - Oregon and California in particular - is known for staying at the cutting edge of the music industry and innovating new trends and styles that spread throughout the country. The band We Are Alcohol is no different and their release Stranger Kisses embodies their creative spirit and approachability.
The album begins with “Lovers!” and sultry smooth jazz chords with laidback vocals and distorted guitars overlaying them. The track takes a turn for a more intense, yet still melodic, style as the lead vocals, lyrics and somewhat harsh instrumentation portray a quintessential punk attitude. The tirade continues in “Lovers! Pt. 2” an experimentally based, rapidly paced rock tune featuring choruses of guitars, voices and gravelly vocals.
“It’s a Bloodbath, Bro” is arguably the best song on the album, and it starts with a leisurely groove that slowly grows into a complex, danceable anthem. The vocals on this song stand on the verge between singing and spoken word/rap, and the horns and piano bring an additional zest to the soundscape.
The vexation and frustration evident in the lyrics of the album only swell as the album comes to a close. Even “Streets Ahead,” the final song on the record, begins innocently enough, then suddenly spirals into a lengthy diatribe set to music.
However, the distinctive skill and talent of We Are Alcohol is that even through the tumult of their music, they manage to maintain a level of entertainment and beauty that is not easily matched. This quality genuinely sets their music in Stranger Kisses apart from many similar bands that fail to achieve the same balance.
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