Let me say from the outset that The Strays are going to have DJs rushing for the bleep button so if you don’t like blunt anglo-saxon language then you would need to avoid their debut short form release “Explicit Content” which manages to utilise the f, c and w words in the opening two tracks.
In the best traditions of northern lo-fi electro-punk bands like “A Witness” and “Bogshed” the duo deliver short, sharp, and unambiguous tirades against any number of deserving targets. This is drum machine driven electro punk delivered in a stripped backed punchy fashion with vocals that betray their northern location, also, The Strays manage (I believe) to be only the second known unit in musical history to use the word “mither” in the title of a tune (the first being The Fall of course).
The stand out track is the rather marvellous “Wind Your Neck In” which manages to use the -ing version of the f-word more times than Sicknurse managed to use in their classic tune “……my Best Friends Wife”. For the more nervous Ofcom spooked DJs out there you can showcase “TV Dinner” which has a rightly has a go at the paucity of talent on current broadcast channels as it only has one “f-ing” in it.
Refreshingly honest and reminding me somewhat of The Ramones in attitude if not style, the band throw a curve ball with the 70s disco vibe of the closer “Death In The Viper Room” which is the safest for radio but not wholly representative of the rest of the 18 minute 7 song collection.
This release cheered me up immensely in a week of submissions from sub-Blink 182 guitar dominated outfits (the modern equivalent of Four Skinny Indie Kids) peddling vacuous riffs under anodyne vocals. The Strays are well worth less than 20 minutes of your time and the price of a pint to give them some support and to encourage them to continue their attack on the sort of targets that need calling out.
Thanks to Neil Malcontent ex of The Ascension for bringing this excellent combo to my attention.