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Non-Prog CD Reviews

StrangeJuice

Raising Cannibals

Review by Gary Hill

This release is entertaining and quite cool. It's also hard to pin down in terms of style. That variety is a good thing, particularly when it all somehow feels like it goes together. There is plenty of alternative rock here, but also a lot of psychedelia general strange leaning. Whatever you call it, though, this is interesting and effective. I'd also bet that you've never heard anything quite like it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Introduction
This is just an expletive filled bit of yelling.
Big Jim Smoke
A trippy, psychotic sounding guitar elements brings this into being. There is an echoey psychedelia built into this along with some old school blues textures. This is so weird and otherworldly, but it's also so cool. There are some strange twists and turns on this. At times it feels almost electronic in its psychedelic ways. There are some female vocals that feel as if they could have been lifted from the soundtrack of a 1950s movie. There is a really weird journey into pure psychedelia around the four-minute mark.
Hey You
There is a bit of a rap kind of thing over some percussive elements on this number. This gets pretty freaky as it continues, particularly with the psychotic spoken lines. Some sung vocals bring an almost pop based alternative rock sound to the piece later. This is strange, but much more mainstream than the previous cut was. I like it a lot, too.
Diet Pills
This mellower cut is dreamy and trippy as it starts. It works out beyond the opening movement to a more powered up and accessible texture. It has an almost alternative rock trippy take on The Beatles on the chorus. The verses are less mainstream. The instrumental break is packed with psychedelic weirdness that borders on prog.
Put The Television On
There is more of a pure alternative rock vibe to this thing. It's still tastefully left of center, but more mainstream than some of the rest. This is a fun song.
Lazy Sun
We're back into weirder territory here. This cut manages to be both accessible and experimental. I love the various voices on the number. The instrumental arrangement is somewhat minimalist and at times feels electronic. The chorus is on this is very catchy.
Home Shopping
This cut has some hints of The Cure. There are also elements that call to mind 80s Euro-pop. Yet there is an underlying alternative rock element.
Walk Into The Light
There is a Celtic edge to this cut. It's an alternative rocker that's very fun. In fact, this might be my favorite song of the whole disc. The violin adds a lot to the mix.
After Party
There are some hints of that Cure reference on this tune. The number has more of a slightly off-kilter alternative rock vibe. It's fun, but also nicely odd.
Bonnie's Dress
There is a trippy, slowly moving arrangement on this. It has a real dreamy, psychedelic vibe.
Surf's Up
This cut gets a parental advisory. It's a fun number that has a real rhythm section domination. There are hints of The B-52s to this in some ways. Overall, this is just a fun little rocker with an alternative edge.
The Forgetting Place
An alternative rocking basis is at the heart of this cool tune.
Creatures of the Night
There is a screaming kind of almost punky rocking sound built into this thing. It has plenty of alternative rock in the hooks. There are even some hints of space rock in the overlayers.
Horse's Eyes
Piano and voice are the main elements here. This is mellower and has a dreamy, slow moving texture. Other things show up to fill out the arrangement down the road, but overall the concept remains unchanged. Personally, I think the previous cut would have made a stronger parting shot, but this is cool.
 
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