One wonders if STRANGE occupy the same headspace as their music. If so, they have my condolences, because while an intriguing place to visit, it might be tough as day-to-day existence. STRANGE's world has a shadowy, echo-driven aesthetic that sounds like a less oppressive relative of The Fall. The band opened for Mission of Burma locally, which was a nice pairing. While not nearly as aggressive, both bands share a kind of chewy suppleness colored by eerie tones. Yet for all its experimentation, angular guitar and rugged rhythms, this is a remarkably enjoyable listen. The key is the horns, which supply light within the often ominous arrangements, and contribute to an aesthetic that feels as much like a movie soundtrack as a rock album, albeit a horror movie soundtrack. This is also a reflection of the album's tight, consistent tone, which operates with inexorable momentum and logic as though following some plotline. As such, this isn't an album that lends itself to single, outstanding tracks, but works instead as a cohesive whole, each track another brick in the shaping of this powerful sonic edifice.
IWTDI's craftsmanship has steadily increased, tightening the screws on a brimming, bracing power-pop sound. The new volume and frisson on this stunning seven-song EP builds on their sound without razing the room.