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Strangers: Persona Non Grata

Hailing from the Southern beaches of Sydney, Australia, Strangers unleash a debut effort that sounds more Seattle post-grunge than it does Aussie barroom boogie. In fact if you are looking for a Foo Fighterish fist of fun to the face, then you could do much worse than wrap your ears around Persona Non Grata.

Crucially things kick off in fine style, with "Red Brick" hurtling through the air at maximum velocity, guitars crashing, drums dashing and vocals smashing through joyously uplifting attack that convinces from the off. "Closer To Nowhere" reins things back, taking its foot off the gas with a deft swipe of ever moving percussion that hits hard and continues to meet the mark. Then "Bred For Breeding" takes that blueprint flicks the ferocity up to the max, making for the best track on PNG. However from there things become a little less steady, while maintaining just enough verve and exuberance to keep you interested. Rather than push on and up the ante, the likes of "Far Too Late", "Heiress" and "The Yearly Drag" become all too keen to repeat the opening trio's approach a little too closely, but without the same level of success. However it pays to keep in mind that the triumvirate which introduce the album really are pretty fine, meaning that what follows is good, if all a little downhill. Thankfully however things do end on a real high with "Long Snake Moan", even if the song title is awful, possessing a guitar groove that could do with making itself more readily apparent elsewhere on this album. The axe-work taking a rather ordinary framework and lifting it far beyond initial expectations, especially through the excellent Cornell-lite throaty yowl of singer Ben Britton.

Persona Non Grata isn't likely to have you reassessing your best releases of 2013 so far list, although it may well give you pause for thought in the debut album stakes. However it is an album that stands up reasonably well to repeat listens and if you can put aside a propensity for things to repeat themselves a little too often, then it certainly suggests that these Strangers might well be worth getting better acquainted with.

Track Listing
1. Red Brick
2. Closer To Nowhere
3. Bred For Breeding
4. Medication (Fire Eyes)
5. Persona Non Grata
6. Far Too Late
7. Searching The Low
8. Heiress
9. Glitter Kid
10. The Yearly Drag
11. Long Snake Moan

Added: March 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Strangers on facebook
Hits: 1652
Language: english

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