Strange Anthem’s “EP Volume 1” has the full-bodied feel of J. G. Thirlwell’s best work. Flawlessly transitioning from full-on rock to industrial-dance landscapes, Strange Anthem packs a lot of detail into these three songs. Infinitely catchy they worm themselves deep into the mind. Lyrically the songs take on a cryptic vibe which matches the overall shadowy nature of the tracks.
Opening up with the cinematic “Forsaken Love” Strange Anthem manage to weave together elements of Spaghetti Westerns, hard rock, and grunge. By far the highlight it neatly balances the dramatic and the fevered nightmarish vibe that defines the collection. Paired alongside a driving rhythm it is a song with an edge reminiscent of Mr. Bungle in its most emotionally straightforward moments. “Juggler” takes a multifaceted approach. Vocals are flexible. Rhythms bounce off of each other. With a primal feel the song moves into a frenzied rush as the soundscape feels supersaturated at times. Everything is thrown into the mix creating a whirl of color. Ending things off on a high note is the intense energy of “Dreamer”. A psychotic introduction leads to the general chaos that defines the rest of the piece. Sounds are filtered through a series of funhouse mirrors. A bizarre carnival-esque mood permeates the piece.
EP Volume 1 is the sonic equivalent of slowly losing one’s mind. The constant shifts in tone texture and sound help to make it a thoroughly unpredictable constantly surprising collection.
Posted by Beach Sloth