HEAVY SOULS: STRANGE COLLECTIVE

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The cool kids are wound up about this lot: great live, mad videos, interesting artwork and tunes to contend. What’s not to love? Well, their latest video might put you off your dinner. But, like we say, the songs will more than make up for that. Get stuck in to Strange Collective. By Alan O’Hare.

You’ve got to be wary of music videos that cause a stir. A great idea and knowing someone who knows their way around a camera or phone lens is all very well… but what about the music? Liverpool-based quartet, Strange Collective, recently let the video for ‘Heavy’ escape into an unsuspecting world and the world went mad. Well, those who follow the band on social media and who don’t like mayonnaise did anyway. The music, though? That was ace.

‘Heavy’ is five minutes of noise and confusion, but the very best kind. The tune fades in on blissed-out and reverb-drenched electric guitar notes that come on like Real Estate or a chilled-out The War On Drugs. The melody is hypnotic and the harmony-led chorus is gorgeous… and then… well, John Paul Jones’ bass amp enters the picture, the guitars’ tablets kick in and all hell breaks loose on a belter groove. A tune that meanders around a lovely lake falls down a sink hole and turns into a psych fest.

“We’re just a garage band,” explains Alex Wynne (guitar and vocals). “Psych is thrown about a lot – but I honestly don’t think we are a psych band and, if we are psychedelic, it’s completely by accident.” Tunes like ‘Sun’ and ‘Frog Eye’ follow similar, if less startling, patterns as ‘Heavy’ and the band are creating an aesthetic all of their own. There’s been a buzz about this lot for a while: “Things feel good,” says Wynne. “We’ve spent a lot of time wanting to get around to finally releasing music – but we focused on live shows and writing. We’re just happy people can actually hear our material now.”

The wonky guitar line of ‘Frog Eye’ and the catchy fuzz riffs of ‘Sun’ all give Strange Collective a real sound of right now and the band is nicely placed to capitalise, with debut EP ‘Super Touch’ released this summer. Do they think it’s their time? The tastemakers certainly think so: “We heard that a fair few times when we started… ultimately we didn’t take it too seriously and you can’t take stuff like that to heart. It’s certainly nice to hear, though, and it’s better than being called shit!”

Strange Collective has toured with the likes of Black Lips and Sean Ono Lennon’s The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger this year and both influenced the band: “We mostly just stood in awe of those bands. It’s probably obvious that we have been listening to Black Lips, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard and Thee Oh Sees,” says Wynne. He’s being modest, this is a band who have been listening to themselves for a while and are ready to offer the rest of us a glimpse.

We can’t wait. As long as there is no more eating mayo’ in the shower…

Strange Collective
‘Super Touch’ EP out July 1st 2016
Salvation Records

Pic courtesy Salvation Records

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