- ENTERTAINMENT ON FOREIGN GROUNDS
impressive and confident a debut album as you’re likely
to hear, Straylings new LP is an arresting selection atmospheric
guitar rock that will put you in mind of the likes of Mazzy Star
and Cowboy Junkies – no bad thing.
Opener Carver’s Kicks sets the
scene nicely – a hauntingly moody tune that summons up images
of heat soaked deserts and sweaty, barely contained passions.
With reverb soaked guitars and Dana Zeera’s floating vocals
meshing beautifully in a slightly psychedelic, slightly bluesy,
slightly country mix that is full of mystery, trippy, eerie and
Tracks like The Saguaro and Kings
of the Mire rock out with a Green on Red vibe, heavy
on guitar and the suggestion of an internal darkness; others take
a different direction. The Spoils has
a fairground vibe, closer to the likes of The Dresden Dolls than
anything, but still very much unique, with Zeera’s echoing
vocals and a swirling music backdrop that is both epic and subtle
– it feels like being caught in the middle of a storm, both
calm and furious at the same time.
Elsewhere, there are the heartfelt and epic Arcadian
Moon, the misleadingly uptempo The Unravelling
of Mr Ed and the swinging Animal Flag.
Bitter Face has more cynical bite to
it, while Marie & the Dusty Lands
is a minimalist, hauntingly dark tale where the Mazzy Star comparisons
seem most appropriate – until the final track, To
Lay Down Roots, which mixes a slow build and a quiet
mystery – passion and restraint combined in a near perfect
Entertainment on Foreign Grounds is a work of beauty
and darkness, passion and atmosphere. It’s pretty damned
magnificent and highly recommended.
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