Tacoma (US) based band, Strangely Alright, have hit it out of the park with their latest single, The Grave. We are thrilled to have this superb art rock/indie rock band in our ears again at the Send Me Your Ears studio. We’ve already reviewed Not The End and Life In 3 from this band and these guys just keep getting better and better.
The Grave is a high drama, psychedelic, slightly gothic track which has been brought out just in advance of Halloween. The song starts with a quick stab on drums and a kind of surf-rock-sounding guitar (reminding us a little of the late era of the British band, Madness). Drifting quickly into a full band sound, this song already feels ominous and creepy before you even hear a single lyric.
The vocals and clear, with just a touch of fuzz and some lovely harmonies, join in at various points throughout the song. The Grave already has plenty of 60s/70s elements in it and as the band have cited their influences being the Beatles and Pink Floyd, we can definitely see that too. There’s a section with a repeated melody (on vocal sounds – we love this, it’s super-Halloween-like!) with the chords changing underneath them. This reminded us very much of I Want You She’s So Heavy by the Beatles.
There’s a lovely change up of rhythm in the choruses and we loved how the heavy-sounding guitar just wails like a banshee over the voices here. The rise and fall in this track, as we’ve come to expect of Strangely Alright, is exceptional.
The verses drop back down with some Hammond and tremolo guitar under the vocals and the dynamic landscape of this track is truly exceptional. You can imagine it working well in a soundtrack to a Beetlejuice-like movie!!
The guitar solo is huge sounding and positively euphoric, leading into a section with some subtle horns and some absolutely glorious Hammond work. There’s so much going on in this track, with lots of subtle instrumentation and sound effects. It almost feels like a rock opera.
Once again, Strangely Alright have hugely impressed us with their songwriting creativity and fine production. To our ears, a small boost in the low mids centred around 150Hz would add to the warmth and fullness of the sound. During the repeated vocal part “do do do doo do do” a cut around 450-500Hz would reduce a slight peak. A cut around 600-700Hz for some occasional honky tones and a wide boost across the top end for extra brightness. As always, these are just some ideas as the song surely doesn’t ‘need’ anything.
Strangely Alright are quickly becoming a Send Me Your Ears favourite. More please!