MySpace Review – The Black Strands

Last week things were pretty bleak on the review front. With no requests from bands and nothing showing up on the radars, we were saved at the last minute with Million Dollar Reload. Since then the floodgates have opened and we have a list again.

Formed in early 2009, The Black Strands (formally Rotovibe….but not anymore thank god) are a group we’ve been listening to and loving for a few days. After less than a year together, the band have amassed a tidy collection of psychedelic / Alterative rock tracks that resemble a sound you’d imagine Shaun Ryder, The Stone Roses, Oasis and The Velvet Underground would come out with. Although there are elements of all these bands styles, the Black Strands have harnessed them perfectly so they come together to make a very pleasant, unique array of sounds.

As usual, we’ve never seen the band live or heard their album.

Demo’s! Demo’s and samples are generally things we avoid but after one listen to the first track, Here it Comes (All Around You), we were hooked. The vocals are straight out of the Madchester post punk / alt rock scene. The music is like The Stone Roses playing rough doom indie with trimmings of drug inducted splendors coming at you from all angles. It’s dirty, raw and dark. We like it!

Shine Your Light has more of an upbeat tone about it. This is helped by the vocals changing on going down a more Verve/ Richard Ashcroft direct. The added charm of Indian styled instruments worked for The Beatles and always helps this kind of sound become a little more mystical and transcendent. Wholes things topped off by a nice feedback filled ending. Another one we like. The future’s bright, the futures Black!

Before the Light Fades throws another darker sounding style in our path. Musically it’s a mix of both the songs we’ve heard before with a faster pace. Rather than suspended changes and restrained energy, Before the Light Fades is a stomper. It’s fiery and dark with a bleak with a constantly building chorus. Great song but now it’s time for one of the best openings we’ve heard this year. Opening with a snippet of audio from The Wicker Man,   Come Alive (Leave This City) is an upbeat, indie styled track that could, with a little bit of rework, become an anthem. The chorus is infectious; the guitars are on hand to deliver some of those killer driving alt rock riffs and there’s some very basic but perfect indie drumming to round it off. This one’s more along the lines of Joy Division covering Oasis. We love variation and we love this band. Also, the organ adds a nice touch.

Sweet Salvation’s up next and it’s another full on rock icon styled anthem. Very Door’s / velvet underground influenced in its composer but alt rock in its style. It’s a serious song that doesn’t drag on too long and just gets stronger and stronger with each listen. Next song, Last Stand on the other hand is full on country rock. Hank Williams III meets Desperado. No more than Sweet Jane, I’m not sure how these guys came to write songs like this so well. Normally this perfection is held by the American and English musicians that created it based on the life around them. The Black Strands must be immersed in these scenes to be able to pull these tracks off so well. There’s no shortage of new instruments coming into the fray, no shortage of styles and, well – nothing they can’t do it seems.

Demons Gold brings is to the second last track of their extensive playlist. It may only be eight songs but after six you’ll already feel that you’ve listened to a wealth of bands and it just keeps going. Demons Gold is one we haven’t quite placed our finger on yet. It’s similar to structure and style to Shine Your Light Fades and the closest thing to a Stone Roses track they have on MySpace, perhaps the title is even a nod to the Roses, Fools Gold. The riff towards the end harks back to the Manic Street Preachers late-nineties success days. Not a bad song, but not on par with the others. Then again, it’s a demo, not a final cut.

Final song Become closes one of the best MySpace Playlists you’ll find. It’s atmospheric, heavy and filled with more guitars than the other seven combined. Nice, very nice!

 We’ve been very fortunate to find alot of great bands recently and these guys are right up in the top three. If you like any of the bands mentioned then you’re sure to love The Black Strands. Check out their MySpace by Clicking Here!

In the meantime, Tickets There is heading back for more. Until next time, TT out.


2 Responses to “MySpace Review – The Black Strands”

  1. love love this heavy band , where can i buy mp3’s or a cd of thier songs?

    when you go to thier myspace you get invalid friend

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