So it seems that Stranger’s Six, at least according to what I’m told is important about them, is making some significant strides in the rock world as of late. By that I mean they’ve jerked off in the coffin long enough to prove to mainstream media that they’re worthy of meshing with the elite of mass consumption. It’s gone so far as to get them major radio airplay and a nomination for Best Punk Band at some local music awards function. To some, all of this might seem a bit surreal, if not a total oxymoron, while others might find all of it to be meaningless horseshit. But what does this say of the actual “art” that Stranger’s Six embody?
Is says exactly what anyone following the latest blips on the mainstream radar would think it embodies. Stranger’s Six is an emotionally charged band cushioned by radio-ready fluffiness. From the first song on nearly every element that makes up this album is instantly recognizable by way of CDs released at least ten years into the past. The copy of a copy of a copy version of You and I vocals, the My Chemical Romance and Panic! At the Disco cock rock bombast.
What makes the album more unintentionally difficult is that it also lacks the energy that can make up for lack of inventiveness, which serves a band like The Used well enough. However, even the most adrenaline-washed songs sound like their going through the motions. No power chord is spared, and with a fuller production those could have been given proper muscle that could have made songs like “Untitled” and “Ready to Fall” a more dandyish Every Time I Die treatment. At the same time their pop leanings like “Hiss and Hearse” could have brought out a more macho Hot Hot Heat. The band’s lyrics do not make the experience anymore uplifting. While some bands, even the hipster-reviled ones, try to maintain a certain level of sardonic cleverness and wordplay while still conveying superhuman sincerity, this band takes a more serious route.
Stranger’s Six packs in everything a fan of this type of music could ever want, plus a few colorful handkerchiefs and scarves for good measure. But considering how long it’s been since those glamor-pusses in Taking Back Sunday and their melodramatic ilk started prancing around the arena, it’s hard to what makes this band worthy of their ancestors’ glory. Even an over the top live show, which I’m sure they deliver on, would be predictable at this point. It seems that, given the options that are thrown at us with every bloated belch the music industry blows at us, there are better ones than this. The divide between the A&R and the buying public that he or she is trying to sway can only be so simple to translate, if they care that much.
Panic! At the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
AFI – Decemberunderground
The All American Rejects – Move Along