The new album from Toronto's Alpha Strategy, The Gurgler, out Friday via Antena Krzyku, is a beast. Ramshackle and borderline unhinged in spots, the record is unsettling, full of the sort of undercurrents that grace every project touched by Steve Albini (he recorded this one).
Opener "I Smell Like A Wet Tent" unwinds like something from Crime and the City Solution, while the stumble-drunk "Save Us Neris" lurches forward with real bad intent. Elsewhere, the superb "Parada" channels early selections from The Birthday Party, even as the sharper "Give Me The Mouth" is rough, knife-sharp guitar-figures jutting up and underneath the pointedly-slurred vocals of front-man Rory Hinchey, the effect pitched somewhere between The Fall and Black Flag, oddly.
Lots of what's here on The Gurgler is abrasive, but it's the sort of abrasiveness that one hasn't heard much of in the last few decades. Fans of The Jesus Lizard and Nick Cave, for example, should find lots to love here, and, of course, hardcore devotees of Steve Albini will want to pick this one up due to the usual recorded-on-a-nerve-ending-style of engineering a record. And, it goes without saying, that the players here -- James McAdams, Evan Sidawi, and Dan Edwards -- create an impressive squall of noise behind Rory's vocals.
The Gurgler is out on Friday via Antena Kryzku.
More details on Alpha Strategy via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Joel Gale]