Stratford 4 The Revolt Against Tired Noises

I'm not sure how much of this record is really a revolt, but the noises coming from this San Francisco four-piece are certainly not tired. Opening with the spacious anthem "Rebecca," the album moves along through different tempos, all the while keeping a nice layer of guitar fuzz, creating a deep, atmospheric effect. Singer-guitarist Chris Streng put the band together with the help of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Rob Turner and Pete Hayes, with whom he used to play in the pre-BRMC band Wave. Not surprisingly, the end result of the Stratford 4 is a loud yet melodic style with plenty of sonic layers typically heard in English bands. Fortunately, the tracks feature enough variety to make the album as a whole more than just a showcase of guitar noise and effects. Tracks like "Window Open" and "Autopilot" take their time to build from softer acoustic sounds towards the inevitable fuzzy conclusion. Then there is the epic 16-minute closing track, "All That Damage," which earns a logical comparison to Spiritualized. The songs themselves are definitely catchy and Streng's lazy singing style is a nice complement. Although far from being revolutionary in its style, this is a solid noise-rock record. (Jetset)