I will freely admit that I first played Stonerism, out Friday on Autumn Tone Records, 'cause it was being released on the same label that puts out Twin Peaks albums. And like that band, Strange Faces have a way with cranking out energetic, shambolic indie that manages to quickly captivate a listener.
There are 11 cuts on Stonerism and yet Strange Faces manage to crank 'em out in just under a half-hour's time. "Don't Feel Bad" unfurls on the back of a great hook, while the marvelously fuzzed out "Still Lit" adds a hint of JAMC circa "Reverence" to the aural assault. These kids are the real deal on this one!
If the boys in Strange Faces do sound a bit like label-mates Twin Peaks, that's okay 'cause they still manage to mix things up a bit, like on "Such A Drag" which washes out with a the insolence of early Oasis (think "Supersonic"). "Skippin' Town" is Twin Peaks in all but name only and that's not to knock Strange Faces as derivatives but, rather, to highlight how good they are at this sort of thing. Though they're probably too young to remember the big flashes of Britpop in its heyday, late album cut "Brand New Way" owes a big debt to brassy rockers of that era like "Crashin' In" by The Charlatans.
This debut from Strange Faces is a corker. Fans of Twin Peaks will love it like I did. Fans who want something a bit rougher will also appreciate the energy behind Stonerism by Strange Faces. Ramshackle in all the right ways and entirely catchy and direct, this record's 11 cuts all made me a fan of Strange Faces on the first go-round.
Stonerism by Strange Faces is out on Friday via Autumn Tone Records.
Follow Strange Faces on their official Facebook page.