Strange Faces: Stonerism

What is it about young men and beachy vibes these days? Chicago based band, Strange Faces, is making their big debut with the album Stonerism. It has all the surf rock you could want with an extra swaying twist to it. Strange Faces’ music is melodic to say the least.

Stonerism couldn’t have a more appropriate title. With all the distortion and surf rock reverb vibes, it’s as if Strange Faces tried to cover all the modern stoner-washup punk tropes out there. The thing is, they’re not even bad at it. The band manages to execute each song perfectly, but at the same time, you’re left with a constant sense of déjà vu.

The high points of Stonerism feature some excellent song-writing. Strange Faces gives off a much more melodic vibe. For instance, in the song, “Been Waitin,’” beneath the layers of distortion is a mellowed out guitar line. It carries a hefty punch of ambiance –it sets the mood. This becomes a common theme throughout the rest of the album. Strange Faces puts their strings to work, laying out more detailed lines. It’s not enough to carry beach vibes for these kids, they straight up jam.

Unfortunately, as mentioned, it’s pretty easy to become burned out on Stonerism. The album is good, real good, but it just sounds so much like everything else. Strange Faces is a talented group. Their melodies are arguably far more interesting than some of the surfy chords being tossed out there these days. It’s just a shame they couldn’t do anything to let their style shine through a little more –differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Is the burned out surf rock thing dead or is it just getting big? –Regardless of the answer, Strange Faces’ Stonerism is a shining star of where the growing genre should go if anything. While it does sound like everything else, the album plays out unlike anything else. Strange Faces’ writing is perfect and Stonerism is the perfect addition for the growing beach vibe collection.

Rating: 7.5/10

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