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Stranger Lazy – The Cox Sintrific

I hate reviewing bands that nobody, and I mean nobody has heard of. It’s tough because it means I have to form my own opinion. It robs me of my greatest writing aid: copying and pasting from a more capable writer’s work. Considering Stranger Lazy has less Myspace “friends” linked to their page than me (and I’m not very popular), I get the feeling that no one outside of Indianapolis knows of the band. While researching the Internet for articles to plagiarize, I could only find one interview with one band member. Unfortunately, the article was about drummer Kevin Fitzpatrick’s art career, and his intentions to leave the band. In the end, I had to suck it up, actually listen to the album and try to formulate an opinion on my own.


After couple of songs from The Cox Sintrific went by, an opinion sprung unbidden to my mind; “This is good.” Admittedly, when the lo-fi recording and guitar reverb on the first song, “And I Punched It” began, I waited for the up-tempo drumming and screaming to begin, thinking: “Oh fuck, another fucking shitty power pop band. Fuck.” But it didn’t happen. The song maintained a measured, almost jaunty pace throughout. It took the beginning of the next track, “Is it Paul Water?” before relief set in. The two songs flowed into one another, picking up pace and cleaning the reverb while still maintaining a lo-fi sound.

Drowning in a sea of mediocrity, Stranger Lazy pulled me to safety one track at a time.

Listen to The Cox Sintrific and you can spot some of their influences like Built to Spill and Pavement, while managing to forge their own path. Singer Rob Freeman’s vocals sound a bit like Ben Gibbard in both the style and pacing of the lyrics, but a bit more raw.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a bad tune on the whole album. Some are less appealing than others, but stand-outs include “We are Vikings Tonight,” with its piano overlaid on chiming guitars, as well as the choruses and upbeat plucking of an acoustic guitar on “Bang on Jesus.” While The Cox Sintrific is pretty dang good, perhaps the most exciting thing about this band is the potential for greater things in the future.


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