VIDEO PREMIERE: The 11-minute epic “Leach” by Twin Cities band Straya

Most people make judgements about a song based on a quick glance at the running time, but you never know quite what you are getting until you hit play and dive in. Sometimes a two minute song can seem meandering, and sometimes an 11 minute song can seem to be bursting at the seams with so many ideas that the time flies. I can safely say the latter doesn’t happen too often, but that was my experience with the epic new song “Leach” from Twin Cities band Straya. We are excited to premiere a video for the track today, which you can watch above.

The song is best understood broken down into manageable pieces, because it eludes any sweeping generalizations. The first section is galloping drums and atmospheric buzzing, a cacophony of noise that crescendos first at the 3:30 mark into the nuclear bomb of hardcore screaming and chugging guitars that the band describe as “post-metal.” Even with the build-up it is an overwhelming sonic explosion. After a couple minutes of those waves crashing through your speakers, you find yourself at the six minute mark of the song, a point that would be considered long itself in almost any circumstance. But, alas, “Leach” is just over halfway done. After the burning intensity of the middle of the song, Straya spend the next few minutes winding things down a bit with a short jaunt into warm, theatrical pop music that could be mistaken for a Radiohead song. The band close the loop by returning to the buzzing ambience we got at the beginning to bring things home. It is an epic journey, to say the least. This long description doesn’t even touch on the trippy video, which was filmed in Super 8 and then bleached and scratched to add a whole extra layer of unsettled energy to a song that already is bursting with funhouse vibes just from the musical exploration.

This one song has more twists and turns than a lot of full LPs, melding together disparate sounds, genres and moods into an 11-minute fever dream that somehow doesn’t feel overblown. “Leach” is the first song released off the band’s sophomore LP, Sobereyed, and showcases a group who clearly are unafraid of stretching boundaries and experimenting in sounds. I don’t even know where you can go with this song as your entry point to an album, but I’m excited to hear the whole LP and find out. The full record is out 2/16 on the Los Angeles record label Chain Letter Collective, and you can pre-order it HERE.

If you’re reading this from within striking distance of the Twin Cities, you can join the band for their LP release Friday 2/16 at Mortimers in South Minneapolis with opening support from the Florists and Harakiri. Facebook event/RSVP HERE.

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