Strangers

Persona Non Grata (Shock)

SXSW 2013 Records

Strangers

Persona Non Grata (Shock)

The Strangers bring thunder from Down Under like they belong to the Seattle class of '87. Or maybe 1992. Veteran Aussie producer Tom Larkin (Calling All Cars) develops a sound too airy and clean for the fivepiece from Sydney to qualify as pure grunge, but these hard rockers have chops. Twin guitars from Mark Barnes and Ben Kinsela and pile-driving beats from Tommy Hansen buttress the snarling, radio-ready vocals of Ben Britten, who likely still has a few Chris Cornell posters in his cave. Lead "Red Brick" crashes down like a polished, still powerful wave: "Look in the mirror it's no one I see/You are not what you believe." By druggy dirge "Medication (Fire Eyes)" in the middle of the action, listeners will either be ready to grind the bowl or split the skate park altogether. Despite its metaphorical implications, closer "Long Snake Moan" ain't no Temple of the Dog. (1am, Headhunters Patio)

**

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