Four years separated from its older brother, the eleven track EP2 finds Minneapolis duo Strange expanding their already busy sound into more thoughtful territory (well, thoughtful for a stoner metal duo).
EP1 was strong and forthright, barrelling through twenty-four meaty minutes on the whimsy of first-impressions. It had a reliable endoskeleton adorned appropriately with layers of synthetic signew. Released on March 27th, 2017, EP2 is a brick shit house mortared with liquid metal. More flexible muscle, less fatty tissue; because muscle weighs more than fat. In Terminator terms, if EP1 was a T800 then EP2 is definitely a T1000.
The effected riffs of “Lot Lizard” and “Grandma (Did All the Drugs Again)” gallop along tracks laid by the likes of Karma To Burn or Don Caballero. “Rollicking” might be a tired adjective, but it’s more than appropriate for Strange’s inherently adventurous attack. Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Adam Rucinski and drummer Luke Freidrich draw from the same bottom-heavy well as the Melvins or Black Cobra, but that well is thoroughly laced with Twin Cities weirdness. A joyful noise can be plenty evil and still be joyful, after all. Give yourself a big, blithe “Hail Satan!”
You’re smiling now, aren’t you? Of course you are.
“Perv” and “P’Oranges” noodle through strummed power chords, finding dazzling annuals in a perennial field of feedback. Strange stretch out their militaristic chops a bit more within EP2, building, dare I say, dynamics and atmosphere into their perpetual riff machine. Fans of Wire or Mission of Burma will think they’ve been pummeled to death and gone to heaven.
Delicious, yet sometimes asphyxiating, if this album were a meal, given its comparable 23 minute lifespan, EP2 would be a fucking mean pepper steak with a screwdriver and Bud sidecar to wash it down with; enjoyed, of course, after a very green apartife. Whichever course comes next, I’m waiting with anticipation.
&lt;a href=”http://strangempls.bandcamp.com/album/ep-ii”&gt;EP II by Strange&lt;/a&gt;
Adam Johnson lives in Minneapolis with his wife, cats, and guitars.