Stratford 4

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Stratford 4

Love & Distortion (Jetset) When it comes to shoegazer pop, it's tough not plucking names out of the movement's gloriously obscure but persistent history and tossing them around like Velcro darts. Some fall away from their intended target, but many stick. This certainly goes for San Francisco quartet Stratford 4. They, like the others, erect thick, shimmering walls of reverb and distortion that suggest the definite influence of My Bloody Valentine and/or Slowdive. But many of their songs, like "She Married the Birds" and "The Story Is Over" bring out their indie pop leanings, leaving the Jesus & Mary Chain in the running, but ruling out Ride. Then there's this recurring Psychedelic Furs fuzz. By the time Love & Distortion arrives at "The Simple Things Are Taking Over" and "Kleptophilia," the band finally has an identity of its own: smart without being pedantic, coy, but not pretentious, the British affectation in the vocals sounding more natural, the melodies spelled out with greater precision. The instrumental waylayings are still there, but the Stratford 4 have more than just a single trick up their sleeves. (Blender Bar, Thursday, March 13, 11pm)


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Christopher Hess
Phases & Stages
Rob Halverson
Second Whirled (Record Review)

Feb. 4, 2005

Spotlight: Kathleen Edwards
Spotlight: Kathleen Edwards
Antone's, 11pm

March 14, 2003

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle