The Straddlerz Come Out Hard on New LP
Be forewarned before playing The Straddlerz‘ forthcoming, self-titled album, which will flood the markets and the internet everywhere on January 29th. This album, unlike just about most anything else available today, isn’t for the faint-hearted. Or for those who prefer singing to screaming, melody to distortion, or even just quiet to loudness.
This album supersedes adrenaline. There’s numbers clocking in at 125, maybe 130 beats per minute (BPM) quite easily. Any lulls in the brashness of the electric guitars, their screeching and wailing, are likely accompanied by the same ardor from the vocals of front woman Linda Filippin.
A good portion of this music simply isn’t danceable, and certainly not with a partner in the conventional sense of the word ‘dancing’. One can jump to it, push people and start fights to it, shout, bang your head and lose yourself in the moment (or the LP, for that matter). But it offers precious few breaks in the action and goes straight for the jugular, from the opening notes of “No Changes”—characterized by inspired live drumming—to the grand finale, the cacophonic “Junkie Bastard”, if you get my drift.
And yet, what are the Straddlerz doing about midway through this affair? Slipping in a little ditty entitled “Don’t Go Away” where, for one of the few times on the outing, the tempo slips below 100 BPM (and indeed, likely below 85). Yes, the duo manages to pull off a ballad, and to spectacular effect.
You’ve really got to give it up to Michael Reynal on the assortment of guitars pulsating on this Long Player, and on “Away” in particular. Here, he comes in sounding like Otis Redding on “Dreams to Remember”, yet even more ethereal, if such a thing is possible, with some wondrous tube or effect that makes his notes spin to dizzying success each time he picks them.
With its staid pace, waves of guitar, and a pure melody from Filippin, this tune’s ready made for the movies, for any torrid scene like when someone’s shooting dope, leaving for good, or simply trying to make sense of life’s roulette table. With an explosion of electric guitars forcing the pace only to set it again by subsiding, this cut typifies the best of the pair—and what could be a long future in this game.