It’s hard to believe this pop-rock project of indie style production is only a two-piece. Coming from Baltimore the two front men were both at one time in previous bands that weren’t meeting their needs, hence this new project. After a year of isolation and recording, Youth Warrant came out of the studio with a solid seven tracks, which they whittled down to three and sent them off for the masses under the name Strange Paradise. They were smart in the care they took for track selection; I find it to be telling and diverse.
The music is often times an attempt for a two-person act to sound like five-six people. There’s a lot of looping and stacking of multi-tracks to give a broader wall of sound, not quite Phil Spektor, but in that vein. Their engineer tooled in the rest and brought a fullness to the record, confirming its potential. “Strange Paradise” opens with a droning tension that swells and breaks over a joyous shore. It has a solid progression that just begs for the chorus. This track is even complete with the ever-trending gang vocalese. It has folk power and rock roots, which is perfect for uplift especially as we move into Spring. Songs like this will speak to a lot of people.
Along the lines of its predecessor, “Criminal” is a slamming positive does of anthemic movement. It has a catchy line in the chorus – “Breaking every heart, breaking every heart.” If you’re not singing along to that, check your pulse. “The Fall” is the slower, more apprehensive one of the three. Still very driving despite the lack of rhythmic intensity. There’s no denying the vocal blend is tighter than ever and done to a T as the climax unfolds and then tapers to album close.
Despite the EP only having three songs it build a solid foundation for the band to build upon. There were a lot of enjoyable moments and am anticipating what there next move is.
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