Genres: indie rock, garage rock, lo-fi
Jan 31 - Feb 6 2005
Wow. This is a challenging album. With the abundance of
accessible pop that's been coming out of the indie scene recently, it's always
nice to hear a band like Complicated Shirt release something
us of the grimy, lo-fi brashness that lured us into the indie rock
world in the first place. Strigine is loud, sloppy, and
occasionally painful - but that's what makes it so fun. Right
off the bat this record comes out noisy and "melodically
difficult" - "We Are The World" is a vicious explosion
of pained vocals and trashy, barely tuneful guitars, yet somehow the
combination works. "The Little Eyesore That Could"
tries a bit more of a melodic angle, but it doesn't sacrifice power;
"Tear Party," meanwhile, is best described as "demented
sensitivity" - the song is a bit slower, but it has a strange
march-like rhythm to it, and the "love song" lyrics are
mocking and mean-spirited.
A particularly impressive aspect of Complicated Shirt is the emotion
they convey in the singing, which is always expressive - often to
disturbing (or hilarious) extremes. Lead vocalist Drew Benton
proves an operatic voice isn't needed to sing on a record of this
nature. The key is often in the lyrics, which the band fills to
the brim with snappy one-liners and clever images; "The Sound of
the Sirens," for example, is packed full with gems like "our
pets are just victims of Stockholm Syndrome" and "the
mechanical bull is all done with your bullshit."
Complicated Shirt's overall noise occupies the vacant
space between garage rock and punk, but somehow it turns out more
inspired than either genre. For the truly adventurous indie
rocker, Strigine is a must.
10 tracks, distributed by the
band, released 2004]