Strange Faces' Strange Faces | Record Review | Indy Week
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Strange Faces' Strange Faces 

(self-released)

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Relocating from Albany, N.Y., a year ago after the breakup of pop-rock quintet The Wait, longtime bandmates Ryan Barnum, Mark Connor and Art Pierce coalesced in Raleigh as trio Strange Faces and immediately began work on a full-length. Though the three had access to the right tools to repeat The Wait's modest radio success—Eric Sarafin, who's worked with Ben Harper and Pharcyde, helmed the recording, the bulk of which was done at highly regarded Asheville studio Echo Mountain—the 10 tracks on its debut are, as the well-titled opener suggests, rather "Ordinary." The rebellious nature of lyrics about breaking from the patterns of routine life are undercut by rote guitar work typical of modern rock fare, a mildly interesting salsa-flavored bridge notwithstanding.

As on "Ordinary," most of the conflict of Barnum's songwriting is extrinsic, often focused on Man vs. Society, Barnum's resentment directed at plenty of vague pronouns. It's more forgivable when Barnum has something a little more remarkable to sing about, as on a tune written from the eyes of a trophy deer, "Aren't You Proud?"

Still, while the big-box rock such as Downtown Live does exist in the Triangle, pasteurized music doesn't exactly thrive here on the small scale. It wouldn't be altogether surprising for the Triangle scene to draw Strange Faces out of its comfort zone and into more adventurous territory in its future work. After all, Strange Faces seems competent enough to withstand those pressures.

Strange Faces plays with Richard Bacchus & the Luckiest Girls, Left Outlet and The Whale Watchers Thursday, Nov. 6, at 9 p.m. at The Pour House. Tickets are $5.

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There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Most Recent Comments

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

DJWurkz just become a new fan! I will see them live at first opportunity I get.

by Keith Ramon DjWurkz on Record Review: Youth League's Second EP Is a Propulsive, Powerful Effort (Record Review)

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