Perth, Australia’s underground indie rock outfit StrangeJuice will drop Raising Cannibals on May 10.
According to StrangeJuice, “During the writing and creation of this album, nothing was sober, everything was afternoon, and there was a constant background of live chickens. The entire record was conceived and created in roughly two weeks, so nothing had long enough to be overthought, contrived, or to become stale.”
StrangeJuice is the musical brainchild of Mike Anderson, who utilizes a vast array of instruments and sound effects, ranging from conventional instruments, like guitars, piano, sitar, banjo, tambura, and bodran, to eccentric splashes from shuffling cards, footsteps, and cawing birds. His unique sonic creations have engendered an international cult-like following.
Recording and mastering is performed in a secret studio in Perth, where “the alcohol flows as free as the natural rivers.”
Raising Cannibals comprises 14-tracks, beginning with a brief “Intro” made up of a voice screaming scatological invectives.
Entry points on the album include “Big Jim Smoke,” a measured tune oozing bluesy drawls of color and eerie rasping vocals topped by a filtered voice and a deliciously soaring female voice. “Diet Pills” rides a tasty alt-rock melody flavored with dark wave savors that give the tune a rolling allure. I love the resonant vocals on this track, providing a scrumptious sing-song rhythm.
“Home Shopping” opens on industrial pop flavors and then flows into a tight groove riding indie-rock hues with tinges of punk-lite running through it. The mood and feel of the song is sarcastic ebullience, making it a delight to listen to, as a variety of vocal surfaces imbue the lyrics with pizzazz.
“After Party” opens on new wave punk-flavored guitars seguing to an alt-rock melody with a compact metallic feel. “Surf’s Up” travels on a surf-rock tune flavored with bubble-gum pop-laced energy. Skintight guitars imbue the harmonics with austere taut dynamics, a little raw and twangy.
“Creatures of the Night” merges surf rock and punk-lite flavors into a contagious tune, as if The Cure decided to start churning out punk-flavored beach music. It’s actually a captivating song because of the rollicking rhythm.
The last track, “Horses Eyes,” conveys baroque sonic flavors reminiscent of Queen.
Raising Cannibals is eccentrically wonderful, full of innovative melodies, idiosyncratic sound effects, like a rooster crowing, and sui generis vocals.