steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Cul De Sac

"The Strangler's Wife" Official Soundtrack CD

Strange Attractors Audio House

Genres: drone rock, experimental rock

Strange Attractors
PO Box 13007
Portland OR

Jan 26 - Feb 1 2004


Cul De Sac's third Strange Attractors album is here.  The Strangler's Wife, a soundtrack to the film of the same name, is here.  And any true fan of laidback, melodic experimental rock needs to go out and purchase it.  Immediately.

Alright, I'm jumping the gun here.  This album isn't perfect.  Like most soundtracks, there are moments on The Strangler's Wife that - though fine when accompanied by moving images - can drag when listened to alone.  I'm talking about short soundscapes like "Second Victim (Shower)" and "Mae Learns the Truth," which suffer from a lack of melody - not something that's necessarily bad, but something that doesn't really fit in with the more potently accessible moments on this disc.

But then there's the rest.  And, I'll tell you, the majority of this soundtrack is so good.  The tracks run the gamut from energy-charged ("First Victim (Apple)", "Tailing the Stranger"), to inquisitive ("Lovemaking / Mae's Theme," "Mirror II (Mae and Elena)" to flat-out creepy ("Second Victim?", "The Dumpster")  Recurring melodic motifs are present throughout the album's duration, as is customary with film scores.  The instrument list is long and varied, featuring everything from a harp to a saz, as well as standards like turntables, violin, and synths.  While most of the tracks are abstract and fragmented, there are also a few more straightforward, instrumental "rock"- and "pop"-like songs, though those quotation marks are there for a reason.

Nobody can do this better than Cul De Sac.  Although drone rock has certainly carved a limited niche for itself, I find it hard to believe that anyone with any inkling of an attention span wouldn't like The Strangler's Wife.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 18 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]