The Stranger's Six - A Date with Daylight
Record Label: Orange Peal Records
Release Date: May 8, 2007
I have to admit, when a band advertises itself as "a perfect blend of sleaze and class," I approach them rather cautiously. Is it possible to mix those two? Or does it end up just being a slimy mess?
A Date with Daylight opens with stuttering drums and loud, monotone vocals. While the chorus of "Back to the Start" has a nice hook that brings +44 to mind, the sleaze factor is pretty high on this one. This song, and many of the ones that follow it, stick to a standard song structure and don't really ever step out of the box. Singer Aaron "A-Fresh" Thompson tries hard to make his voice sound booming and epic, but he ends up merely shooting out the words without much emotion behind them. This lack of emotion makes it tiresome to try and pick out the lyrics, or even to hear much of the music under the vocals. When you can hear the instrumentation, it is also often bland. There are occasionally interesting guitar licks, but most of it is just a wall of sound that takes a backseat to the vocals.
All of the songs follow the same format: guitar intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge/breakdown, chorus. You might even go so far as to say the band are sticklers for this format. There is no variation - even the choral hooks sound very similar. It feels like there was no passion put into these songs. "Hiss and Hearse" has the most unique instrumental intro, with a neat distorted guitar sound that isn't heard anywhere else on the album. Unfortunately, Thompson soon begins droning over this glimmer of creativity.
By the time "One Step Closer" rolls around, one begins to feel like they've heard all these songs before. And indeed, the guitar in this song sounds very similar to the one in "Echo," and then the same tone is used again in the next song, "Ready to Fall." And true to cookie-cutter form, the band puts a slightly slower song at the end. However, this doesn't imply a more heartfelt song - just a slower tempo and more drawn-out vocals.
So for The Stranger's Six, the question of sleaze versus class is answered: sleaze will overpower the class every time.
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