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Strangelight: 9 Days
Alternative, Post-Hardcore
Sacrament Music
October 8th, 2013
Release length: 25:59
Earsplit PR has the tendency of getting some clients that don’t quite fit the format of this site, and Strangelight is definitely one of them. This five piece is a Rock supergroup that brings together members of the bands Made Out of Babies, Goes Cube, Mussels, but most notably Geoff Rickly of the band Thursday. The name of this collective is also an homage to a song off the album The Argument by Fugazi according to the press release, while the EPs title reflects the amount of time it took to record these six tracks.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from a fan of the groups mentioned above, especially Thursday, which is why this is an “Outside the Box” article. The second I hit the play button, some bias I had immediately set into motion. While some sites have gone on to praise this as a stunning example of Post-Hardcore with a good deal of emotion, it just didn’t stick out that way to me all the time. 9 Days offered up some atmospheric material that does skirt the line of the Hardcore genre, but at times just falls a bit too far into the mainstream Alternative genre for me, as if something you might hear on the dedicated radio station for that genre. But, in many ways, that wasn’t too detrimental to my experience after the first song.

“Split and Divide” did not interest me at all, even during the edgier moments where screaming was involved. The majority sounded like a Les Claypool composition was ripped off and simplified with some clean vocals and melodies thrown in at times. No, it wasn’t bad or hard to sit through, but it did bore the hell out of me and make me wish I were listening to Les Claypool instead. “Mosh Party AD” started bringing me around a bit due to the richer bass presence in the background and stronger hooks above the technical chords in the chorus against the upbeat main verses.

But it was the more Shoegaze-esque tracks like “High Five Hailstorm” and “Xmas” that took the simplistic approach from “Split and Divide” and actually made a stronger emotional experience, though the latter of the two did seem to go on longer than it should have by the two minute mark. The sudden shift another thirty seconds in helped space things apart, but it went right back into the distant spoken dialogue that was not only hard to decipher, but a bit ill-fitting. No, these didn’t bring me to tears, but there were times where the performances just struck a chord inside, drudging up memories from the past in both a positive and negative manner depending on how aggressive the music became. In a weird way, these songs wound up being soothing and heart warming, even during the distorted shouting on “High Five Hailstorm.”

9 Days isn’t something that I’m going to sit back and listen to on a daily basis, but it’s an EP I kind of enjoyed sitting through. There wasn’t anything new or dynamic, bringing a rather basic approach to the style that is done surprisingly well to illicit some emotions, while also just painting a relaxing canvas. In fact, its the harsher elements I normally would prefer that wound up the most detrimental, often serving no real purpose to the direction the song was going in other than to derail it for the sake of throwing some screaming in. While this isn’t going to appease the everyday Deicide or Mayhem devotees, it is something that fans of lighter, more mainstream Rock oriented material will definitely enjoy more than I did.

01. Split and Divide – 4:05
02. Mosh Party AD – 4:10
03. High Five Hailstornm – 4:35
04. White Feather – 4:29
05. Xmas – 3:50
06. Tiers of Joy – 4:50
Digital review copy of this release provided by Sacrament Music via Earsplit PR.