Songs by Strung Out Singles
It’s pointless to argue for the artistic validity of music based on personal taste. Regardless of the quality of its music, a band can usually either stimulate an underground following, or appeal to the mass market, but not both. Often, cult followings (for, say, GWAR or Sunny Day Real Estate) are totally random, but they usually depend on cool people knowing what’s hip and uncool people wanting to be cool by liking the latest obscure band or musical trend, thus creating a rage of consumerism. Unfortunately, this is often a painfully slow process that never generates as much cash as a blatant appeal to the lowest common denominator (i.e. the public). An album by a band like Mercury Rev makes all the Year-End critics’ polls, but they’ll never be as rich as the Backstreet Boys. Such is the case with distinctively Australian reverie-rockers, Feverdream. On Songs by Strung Out Singles , Feverdream incorporate an urban garage sound to their atmospheric, chiming-guitar, swirly acid freak-out rock — first introduced to U.S. audiences on 1997’s You Don’t Know Us, But We Know Who You Are — giving this collection of songs a Feline -era Stranglers, progressive punk sound: a truly resonant little groove where “Peaches” meets “All Roads Lead to Rome” or something like that. Sound pretty hip? It is. Here you have a complex yet unassuming song like “Home at the End of the Day” — cradled in a pulsating bass line and snatches of gorgeous, melancholy guitar — riding up against the crunchy raw-power that qualifies “Autumn” as a lost Buzzcocks song. Probably destined for relative obscurity, Songs by Strung Out Singles is one great record you don’t own. Yet.
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