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Strange Changes: I Want You

Strange Changes are an eight-piece band hailing from Allston, Massachusetts who cite their influences from Frank Zappa, Charles Mingus and Mr. Bungle. According to themselves, "the group effortlessly blends genres and balances experimental excursions with danceable, singable grooves." Very kindly the band also reviews the album for the lazy reviewer. So, for instance about "American Sausage" they say, "The album's signature composition, a lengthy Zappa-style political satire. This song has a little something for everyone, mixing funk, rock, Americana, marching band, metal, and free jazz. Best for jam band, indie, and experimental formats." Sounds a little bewildering? That's because it is! It's nearly eight minutes of weirdness with, as they say, a marching band right in the mix.

"You be Marilyn, I'll be JFK," can only come from the deeply funky "Nixon's the One" and this is another where Zappa's influence is keenly felt. Let's be honest, the ghost of Frank is all over I Want You and this is excellent news because as far as I'm concerned nobody has really picked up the mantle he laid down too early and Strange Changes have made as good an attempt as anybody else I've heard over the past couple of decades. The best track is the rather catchy "Oh, Oh Lord" which is genuinely lovely and as the album was apparently made three years ago I think it is about time another was forthcoming.

Track Listing:

  1. Dinosaur Gravy
  2. Crawling Towards the Light
  3. Huffin' in the Nude
  4. But Moooommmm...
  5. Salvation in the Dirt
  6. American Sausage
  7. Oh, Oh Lord
  8. Nixon's the One

Added: February 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1610
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Strange Changes: I Want You
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-03-03 15:25:31
My Score:

This is interesting music, as the opening track 'Dinosaur Gravy" states, "if you are in the mood for a different food, (music)". Exactly. A jazzy, fun – filled Zappa – like romp with instruments.

'Crawling Towards the Light', slows things down to literally a crawl, with occasional trumpet and sax thrown in for good measure. Nice way to keep the listener off balance and beyond expectations. The album cover art gives you initial impressions of the music held within.

'Huffin' in the Nude' is a funny, off – centered track full of bluesy Tom Waits/ New Orleans rhythm and romp.

'But Moooommmm…' is an "I Don't want to Go to School" rant set to Zappa meets Madness paced music.

'Salvation in the Dirt' sounds like a serious rock/pop/jazz song…for about a minute before another rant steps in. Then back to slow dirge – like themes.

'Oh, Oh Lord' is a comical twist on death.

'American Sausage' is a playfully political romp set to a jazzy beat and rhythm. Zappa rears his head again.

If you haven't heard a good satire of one of our most disgraced President's yet, 'Nixon's the One', will get you up to date in a hurry. Bringing back the worst of the 70s for your listening pleasure.

This is definitely something to listen to for a change of pace. If you miss Frank Zappa, this might take care of that need.

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