The Stranger: S/T 7" (new)

Lumpy Records

$6.00

A fine new group from stl, watch out ! with special art by Laura Pallmall. LR74

Our take: I know virtually nothing about this group other than that they hail from Lumpy's home base of St. Louis, but this sounds like something that would have a fitting home on that label regardless of where the band happened to come from. The five tracks on this EP are split pretty evenly between Flipper-esque dirges and more upbeat, almost '77-ish songs, and the band is really good at working in both modes. A few years ago it was really fashionable to try and sound like Flipper and No Trend, but most bands completely missed the point by playing boring hardcore riffs in half time. The Stranger get the point by playing more interesting hard rock songs at like 3/4 tempo, just slow enough to where it almost sounds like something is wrong with your turntable. Listening to this kind of music makes my skin crawl, but in a good way. Further, it makes it even more effective when they pick up the tempo on tracks like "Gut Rock" and "Visions." This one isn't as over the top as a lot of the stuff on the Lumpy label, but it's a solid punk record that'll have no problem worming its way onto your playlist if you give it a chance.
Tags: 10s 77&KBD midwest punk recommended