Those in need of a cuppa and a biscuit had better get one now, as there's more monochrome psycho drama in store with French Playground, a track which charts the Algerian revolt of the 1950s.
Notebooks out, historians! A record with the weight of times past hanging over it, sometimes oppressively so. Who needs to know about the Algerian revolt when you've got Strictly Come Dancing, I ask you....
Anyways this new LP from Stranger Son is a damned good listen; brilliantly paced, intelligent and with atmosphere enough to satifsy any glum head. Stranger Son's sound does utilise the odd Joy Division flourish (the opener, and title track, comes on like New Dawn Fades or The Eternal) but as any Head knows, it's all about content; and the world the lyrics conjure up is pretty special if grisly. With lyrics like, "It was locals who pulled the torso up", you are transported to an account of some local dystopia, albeit one like a Daure print, the drama fleshed out with subtle (aural) washes of greys and browns. The feeling of Goth-punk timelessness created by the lyrics is possibly more Joy Division than the rumbling bass line; and is something that is difficult to pull off convincingly. Here, it is.
Those in need of a cuppa and a biscuit had better get one now, as there's more monochrome psycho drama in store with French Playground, a track which charts the Algerian revolt of the 1950s. This track plods along menacingly, (you can guess the lyrics I'm sure) with the odd synth note used to stretch out some figment of melody. Yes, it's heavy but it's an oddly compelling track. I Got Lucky is the apogee of all this misery, the sort of sonic challenge the Fall used to throw out, albeit with a murky sense of ages goneby. Hip Priest written by Gradgrind. That kind of thing.
But fear not! You may feel like you're stuck on some Arctic shelf with only the huskies left to eat, but when the pace quickens on Plane to Belgium the mood also lightens somewhat. The atmosphere is now determined, almost giddy, and this track feels like the best on the LP, precisely because of what went before. It's the same tense trick Dinger played on Neu! 75. Last up we have The Button Calls, a sort of whirling, cascading, ill-disciplined instrumental in the style of The Teardrop Explodes' The Tunnel. There's also a bit of a clunky reworking on Interstellar Overdrive in there too. But nowt wrong with that.
So, heavy, but nourishing. Worth your time.