Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Forty Years Ago - Stray-Suicide


Second albums are always difficult affairs.  With the initial album release preparation time is often suffice to prepare a great album but with the second both pressures and expectations mount within a shorter time frame.  However UK heavy rock band STRAY hit the nail on the head with their sophomore album “SUICIDE”.

 Opening track “Son of the Father” starts with some quiet singing over an acoustic guitar before turning into an uptempo heavy rocker.  This turns into an instrumental with a number of time changes.  Like most anti-war songs, there is a military beat but it’s not there for long at all.  The song stops and then starts again repeating the battlecry-like soft intro before launching back into song.  The fuzzed out guitar of Del Bromham
 On “Nature’s Way” ensure this album rocks out further and the rhythm section that grabs the listener by the throat with their effective timing and tempo changes while the guitar leads smoke in the instrumental piece.  “Where Do Our Children Belong” and “Dearest Eloise” are quieter tracks that equal the BEATLES mellower moments both instrumentally and due to singer, Steve Gadd’s voice.  “Jericho” lulls the listener in with some of the great instrumental work.  There’s a feel to the song that is similar to early IRON MAIDEN.  When making “Making all of Jericho crumble to the ground” is sung, the falling city collapsing is convincing with the panic sounds that the guitars and drums imitate.  The organ sound tremor warns of a horrific earthquake.  However, the melodic hooks within the song could have stopped the city crumbling as they offer the listener much more than simply something to hang on.

“Run, Mister, Run” has a chorus that is listed in doctor’s notes as being contagiously catchy.  The bass and guitar riffs are listed as a fire hazard by emergency departments.  “Do You Miss Me” has a shuffling beat before going into a jam with some hot grilling and baking guitar riffing.  If barbecuing and collapsing cities weren’t enough, the title track “Suicide” is an explosion of anger, bass riffs, guitar leads with lyrics that tell the story of a black man about to kll himself.  The heaviness of the subject matter is more than matched by the music.  The phrase “Rocks like a bitch” was invented as a worthy way of describing this song and in fact, this album.  This STRAY album should be adopted and loved despite the possibilities of setting your house on fire

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