Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stranger to Stranger: Darkest Dreams LP

After a hiaitus (again) I realized that I miss writing about and sharing obscure vinyl nuggets (not to be confused with Obscure Vinyl Nugent, the BDSM-themed Ted Nugent cover band). I still have plenty of records to share, starting with this virtually unknown second LP from Philadelphia-based Stranger to Stranger. You can find a fresh, clean rip of their debut on Systems of Romance. While their first LP is a collection of wonderful (if monochromatic) dark synth-based post punk that's high on atmosphere but low on pop sensibility, their follow-up is much janglier, and, well, almost pop-sounding. That's not to say that they've abandoned their darkwave roots; they just became a bit less enigmatic.
There are definitely some gems on the record - Summer Winter starts the album off perfectly, a guitar-heavy post-punk track with some slight hits of Darklands-era JAMC; the title track is a somber, beautiful song that rewards repeat listens; The Only Pleasure and The Freedom Beat are both tuneful tracks layered and sprinked with synths that recall The Sound; Life After Birth is their most aggressive track, approaching the style of early Furs. Where the band's debut LP was stuck in a singular style, the follow-up expands upon myriad influences. Even if the results are sometimes imperfect, if there's one quality that Darkest Dreams has that their debut was lacking, it's stylistic dynamics. Of course, this long-lost Obscure Vinyl Nugent (oops!) is well worth a listen, so get it now...

Stranger to Stranger: Darkest Dreams LP
1989, Strange Productions
Summer Winter
The Darkest Dreams
No More Heroes
The Only Pleasure
The Freedom Beat
Ignore My Heart
Opportunity
Can Time Stand Still
I Will Remember
Life After Birth

Click here to listen

3 comments:

ELXOSE80 said...

Thanks for sharing another outstanding album.

Sean Fetterman said...

Excellent album, another great and extremely underrated album is by the band Pink Turns Blue the album is "If Two Words Kiss", post punk goth beauty.

David lordofvhs said...

thank you bro-awesome blog and good and out of print vinyls overhere
God bless you have a nice summer