Opening for BRMC this week is The Stratford 4, where London, Seattle, and San Francisco come together for the making of their second Jetset Records release, Love & Distortion, in April of this year. Tapping into the production skills of Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie, Hot Hot Heat), bassist Sheetal Singh describes the result as, “more straightforward and raw, less manicured, with less emphasis on effect and more emphasis on songwriting.”
Vocalist Chris Streng, who also played with Rob Turner and Pete Hayes from BRMC in the S.F. band Wave, can take one back to the early days of Brit-Pop mixed with the aching melody of Dinosaur Jr., fusing tightly with swirling power-pop ballads and rowdy rock rebellion. The tunes take you down a sunny country road on “12 Months” with bittersweet reflection; the Catherine Wheel style echoing guitar intro sets the stage for the languid, reminiscing track “Telephone” as Streng relays a soul searching conversation with his mother, looking to find his way as he listens to Spaceman 3, Primal Scream, and T-Rex with a bit of the herb.
Two songs from Love & Distortion are available on The Stills web site – “She Married the Birds” and “The Simple Things Are Taking Over”. Within a few seconds, you’ll realize that you’ll need the whole armful of Love & Distortion in your music collection.