You don’t have to watch the news for too long before you start to say to yourself, ‘It’s raining nonsense!” The band Strangely Alright uses the word ‘reigning,’ rather than ‘raining,’ but the point is still the same. The group is from the Seattle, WA area, but their influences mostly come from across the pond. These inspirations include glam icons, like David Bowie and T. Rex, punkers that include the Jam and Buzzcocks and Brit Pop-ers, such as Suede and Supergrass.
Front man Regan Lane wears makeup and a top hat for the video to the “Reigning Nonsense: single. With his dance moves and dandy demeaner, he’s a little like Ray Davies (of The Kinks), back during that British band’s heyday. He also carries a striped umbrella, which adds to the rain/reign wordplay.
Singing about “reigning nonsense” could easily be a political statement. After all, both the major political parties in the U.S. (the democrats and the republicans) have been more vitriolic than ever right now. Each is accusing the other of being nonsensical.
At one point in the song, Lane wonders, “Kids they say the darndest things/I wonder what they’ll change?” Perhaps this is a sly commentary on today’s millennials. Sure, they’re not exactly kids any longer. Nevertheless, many of these young adults behave like children, despite their age. Some of their ideas just don’t make a lot of sense to older folks. The line about kids saying unexpected things, and then wondering what they’ll change, seems to suggest these young people are all talk, no action. Or as they say out west, all hat no cattle.
The song begins with echo-y guitar and psychedelic keyboard. The song sounds a bit like one of those Squeeze hits from back in the 80s. The sonic is classic pop music, married to smart, semi-sarcastically delivered vocals. In a nutshell, that would describe most Squeeze songs; with the possible exception of “Tempted,” which was about as serious and sincere as that act has ever gotten. The chorus, where the group sings, “It’s reigning nonsense,” features what sounds like a kid’s choir shouting, “Hey!” The song also includes a wordless vocal interlude.
A name like Strangely Alright also goes well with this song. In a world where nonsense appears to reign over logical, rational thinking, to be alright is surprising, if not shocking. One would think that the bombardment of insanity would drive everything in its path deep into insanity. Much like The Kinks, though, Strangely Alright acts as a kind of uninvolved outside observer. Lane just dances his way through all the wackiness, untouched. No, he’s not going to add to the noise with nonsense of his own. Instead, his perspective is that of someone who sees what – he hopes – everyone else sees, in hopes that the sane among us will get a clue and put a stop to the stupidity downpour.
Well, does he have half a chance of succeeding? It’s a hard question because there has always been societal nuttiness, and there’s no sure cure for it. Hopefully, you’re like Strangely Alright – standing on the sidelines and marveling at all the nuts of the world, yet surprisingly remaining sane.