When I listen to Losing Colour, the first (and last) full album from Stricken City, I can’t help but feel a wave of nostalgia; as if someone has taken hazy memories of youth and written a soundtrack for it. There’s a retro nineties feel that comes across in the jangly U2-esque guitars and raw, earnest vocals with a hint of The Cranberries. The album swells and tapers with these elements painting a rich melancholic picture.
Right from the start we’re placed in a daydream. A cavernous drone punctuated by a distant horn with the soothing call of singer Rebekah Raa easing you into “Some Say”, the first track. Raa’s voice suits the sound so well with its air of imperfection and beauty. The lyrics and chants flow naturally into the music to the point that you’d forget they ever existed apart.
It’s this great aspect of Losing Colour that may also lead to it’s largest issue; the songs are too similar. The band seems to have found a great recipe for songwriting, but forgotten the rest of the cook book. The lone song that seems to stand out is “I Know A Place”. Horns make a defiant return along with some sharp guitar and a driving drum beat to clear the haze and showcase the band’s other talent; up-tempo rock. While each song is wonderfully crafted in it’s own right, 3 or 4 plays later and “I Know A Place” was the only song that I distinctively knew right away.
This is why it is such a loss for fans and music bloggers alike who won’t get a chance to hear this band develop. With such strong potential from Losing Colour and previous EPs, Stricken City was definitely down the right path. With the only explanation for the break-up being “We never stood a chance” , releasing Losing Colour is a fine way to exit, but still far from ideal. Even for the band themselves who have no doubt had their final moment marred by piracy issues.
Despite being an independent band and the digital album costing only a dollar, many blogs and uploaders were hosting illegal links to the album. The band’s now deserted Twitter page is enough to make any true music fan cringe. I could rant on the issue for days, but the bottom line is illegal downloading hurts musicians.
It’s a shame. This wasn’t a band taken at their peak, but a band exploring and reaching new heights. It would have been an exciting sophomore release after Losing Colour, which was already an album that showed great skill mastering a nostalgic dream-like sadness. It’s too bad that it took an event as upsetting as this to display their talent.
If you’d like to hear more visit Stricken City’s website.
Tags: Losing Colour, Reviews, Ryan Ongaro, Stricken City, Stricken City - Losing Colour album review