Home > TheRest > The Stratford 4 – Love and Distortion

The Stratford 4 – Love and Distortion

Jet Set Records, 2003Stratford 4

Most of the time I pick up these cheap albums simply by looking at the album cover.  I mean, look at this one … four decently dressed people lounging around as if they had just finished a taxing rehearsal and just have enough time to look bored.  And hey, two chicks!  Along with the likable band name and the track record of the music label, I felt this one was a shoe-in for the engaging price of a mere quarter.  However, what I neglected to notice was two things:  the song titles are very fey and one of the guys on the cover looks like he is awkwardly fixing a button.  Fixing buttons is a red flag, people!  So is trying to touch one’s own chest hair, if that is what he’s trying to do instead.  Regardless, if I had taken the time to notice these things, I could’ve saved the quarter to use for 15 whole minutes of parking in Somerville, MA.

The Stratford 4 are actually not that bad for the sound they aspire for.  Upon listening to this record, I couldn’t help but think of Oasis with a fuzzy, quiet touch of My Bloody Valentine.  Most of these tunes are straight dose of pop, like on Gallagher-tinged songs like “Kleptophilia”.  They do sometimes diverge from this kind of song once in awhile, like on the pretty “12 Months” which will cool anyone down.  They also try a rock number, “The Story is Over”, that not only is out of place but one could say they shouldn’t have wasted their time.  I will say that the rather careless delivery of “Telephone” was interesting, if only because it didn’t fit into their traditional pop sound and lacked the band’s attempts at shoegaze.

Like I said earlier, this really isn’t that bad of an album.  It’s just unimpressive and relatively commonplace in the late nineties, never mind 2003.  It turns out that this was the last album these guys put out before they disbanded.  They’re still up on MySpace so go check out a few of their tunes if you want something comfortable to listen to.

The Stratford 4 on MySpace

So the lesson to be learned here is that no matter what the band looks like on the cover, or how well the cover seems designed, they may not sound as great as they want you to think they will. For a quarter they were worth a listen.

Categories: TheRest Tags: ,
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  1. September 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

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