Review by Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers
Strangers in Paradise: The Story Pt 2 (EP).
For their second release, ambitious Harrogate rock band Strangers in Paradise continue the concept song cycle theme of their debut EP The Story with the snappily-titled The Story Pt 2.
Boldly going their own way in epic fashion, it’s still not easy to sum up this powerful rock trio in a simple sentence.
Are they Metallica’s Master of Puppets or Queen II, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik or 30 Seconds To Mars’ This Is War or Mars Volta’s Frances The Mute?
If brevity was made law, I’d say it was the latter’s modern metal approach to prog rock and psychedelia which SiP are closest to.
The difference is I don’t remember Omar Rodríguez-López and co throwing in soul and rap to the mix as SiP do here with guest singer Soul Deep on track two, Land of Later and Tre on track three, Deception Point.
Despite the variety of musical styles SiP rattle through in quite dazzling fashion, they never become as dense or torturous a listen as Mars Volta.
Like the latter, they combine a rock crunch with a sharp sweetness, total tightness with passages of drifting ambience and, of course, some cracking guitar riffs.
But SiP also keep the hooklines coming throughout; melody counter-balancing nuclear power-loads of energy and genuine instrumental brilliance from the hugely inventive Mosby brothers – Steve on vocals and guitar and Andy on bass.
Looking ahead, SiP have yet to come up with a single great song and I’d advise them to integrate their soul and rap influences more rather than less.
Whatever. Strangers on Paradise are clearly on the right path. The story continues.