Google Tag

Friday 9 February 2024

Lions Of The Interstate - Strange Empires

I am a big admirer of what Andy at Braxeling Records releases. It is one of the few labels that get a banner on here which is a testament to how interesting the label is and the Portland Oregon five piece, Lions Of The Interstate have released the quality album that they've threatened to make.

Strange Empires is a wonderful listen. The band specialise in a gentle Indie Rock that at times edges towards Psych, Indie Pop and even a little Shoegaze. Songs are more like soundscapes, built on hypnotic riffs with an understated vocal. Not a million miles away from Nada Surf.

The front half of the album is very much in this area, very much as I expected and works incredibly well and I'd be happy if it just stayed this way to ease my way through the day. Then from White Trucks onwards, the album heads in a different direction, very varied and suddenly you are even more in admiration.

White Trucks itself is very upbeat second half of the 80s UK Indie. A real lively cracker of a song that leads on to Road Death which is all vocal harmony Jangle Pop. I'd obviously heard Lost In Spokane before and this West Coast Pop with its Fleetwood Mac chorus and additional Brass remains as great as ever. 

Loose Cannon is New York Indie, almost Garage Rock with its top notch Fuzz that sounds deliberately under produced and yet still has vibes of Glasgow. Bolt Of Blue has a fantastic bassline and a great Indie Pop Guitar minimalism and a surprise addition of Cello.

Happy Birthday is even more out of kilter. Kyla Henry's vocal adds a boy girl jaunty Dream Pop affair, more akin to Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott song. That is the delight of this album, you get what you want and then you see a completely different side to the band that just makes you want to applaud. Absolutely splendid!

You can listen to and buy the album as a download, CD or Vinyl album here


No comments:

Post a Comment