Stratford 4 The Revolt Against Tired Noises

Formed in San Francisco back in 1999, the Stratford 4 has yet to have their day in the sun. Their second album, however, could very well be the one to propel them, not necessarily to the top, but to a warmer place. Plus, just to increase their coolness quotient that little bit more, one of the band used to be in an early incarnation of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, so that means that the British music press should be all over these guys before very long. And with good reason, because The Revolt Against Tired Noises has a laid-back, lazy, noisy feel that permeates most of the songs; there’s definitely an excursion or two into shoe-gazing territory, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, when they songs disappear into a wall of noise and feedback, like "Window Open” does towards the end, the effect is rather wonderful. As long as they keep sounding like a cross between Spiritualized and the Velvet Underground (circa their third album), with some early Swervedriver and Slowdive thrown in for good measure, everything is fine with the world. But when they give in to their temptations to rock out they lose a little of their charm. Still, the epic closing track, "All That Damage‚” more than compensates for any indiscretions along the way and The Revolt Against Tired Noises is one of the more persuasive and downright enjoyable albums I’ve heard in quite some time. (Jetset)