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CD REVIEW: Sex With Strangers - You Know Something We Don’t

by: Cyrus Rhodes





Artist: Sex With Strangers
You Know Something We Don’t
Label: Independent Artist

Primary Website: http://www.sexwithstrangersmusic.com/

Bandcamp: http://sexwithstrangers.bandcamp.com/album/you-know-something-we-dont

Genre: Alternative Rock, College Rock, Indie Rock
Sounds Like: Superchunk, Hole, Liz Phair, L7, X, No Doubt, Sonic Youth

Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: 22, Hostages, Pink Sock, Slave to the Night
Weakness: More solo segments, Short Sided CD




BUILT in the shadows of rain-covered Vancouver, Sex With Strangers was founded in 2007 by inimitable front-man Hatch Benedict and mysterious bassist Magnus Magnum. Band consist of Hatch Benedict – vocals, keyboards, Mike Gentile – bass, Alexis Young – vocals, keyboards, Cory Price – guitar, Dan Walker – drums. This release entitled “You Know Something We Don’t’ was released in 2014. Band hails from Canada.


The CD lifts off the ground nicely with rocking intro piece “Hostages.” This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against mesmerizing vocals from Young/Benedict, hypnotic lyrical content and driving rock rhythm that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of psychedelic musical indulgence. Track 2 “22” keeps things rocking with its impressive guitar ambience, psychedelic groove, in your face  vocals from Young/Benedict painted against a grand mosaic of vivid sound. The striking musical flow of this piece brilliantly moves like an ocean across the ears. Track 3 “Pink Sock” is an impressive hyper-rock piece that is quite dynamic, full of tasty musical syncopation and dynamic musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. All in all one of my favorite pieces on the CD. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Superchunk, Hole, Liz Phair, L7, X, No Doubt and Sonic Youth. They also remind me of a modern version of B52’s on steroids. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with an Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear experimental type music with classic remnants of the rocked out College Rock glory days on the 80’s and 90’s reminiscent of classic bands like Pixies. The CD presents brilliant flashes of theatrical rocked out ambience and all things rock n’ roll and Punk related. You will also straight forward 4 piece delivery layered along the way full of soaring guitar dynamics, a few well -placed harmonies, low end rhythm section, Piano, hard hitting melodies. The Young/Benedict vocal dream team showcases some impressive singing/shouting with an appealing vibrato, and impassioned feel. Sex With Strangers have clearly proves themselves with this latest release. They all possess solid musical instincts. During my initial research I discovered this band is quite the hot topic live. Playing live, these lads dish out a cosmic fury and induces the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated. That's what Rock n Roll is all about - pushing the limits. From striking” Salve to the Night” to neurotic “Falling Over” to rocking “Wasted Glory” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Wandering Eyes” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.   


I wish there were more solo segments throughout the CD. CD is a bit short with just 10 track. Perhaps 3-4 more tracks are needed to make this a fully loaded release. I don’t really like the 2 pronged vocal approach to be honest. If I had my way I would make Young the primary vocalist for all songs and utilize Benedict strictly as a background vocal instrument. Young is FUCK!NG amazing (visually/vocally) and extremely marketable as a vocal front.


Sex With Strangers’ latest CD “You Know Something We Don’t” is a fun yet compelling musical journey - that pushes hard. These guys pretty much rock the house and are just a blast to listen to. Their strong suit is its amazing rocked out ambience and song for song musical flow. These guys get high marks from me for their somewhat reckless musical approach that will get you rocking. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing live sounding production to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. This almost Punk Rock format makes for a great "live" experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the party takes you.  So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with rocked out flair that lets it all hang out then I highly recommend you take a listen to the latest CD from Sex With Strangers entitled “You Know Something We Don’t” right away via the above hyperlinks.  


Cyrus Rhodes