The very words “Sex with Strangers” produce quite a reaction, particularly so when dropped casually into everyday phatic conversation. The very idea seems completely absurd, dirty and yet provocatively, dangerously, wildly exciting.
OK, I should probably clarify that I am referring to the band and not the actual deed of sharing some full on, attire-less alone time with a person who you have never set eyes upon before.
Hailing from our beloved Vancouver, Sex with Strangers’ fourth album in only five years, Behaviours has just recently been released and like the band’s name, it is not one you are likely to forget anytime soon.
Centering in on the fallibility of human relationships, band manager and lead singer Hatch Benedict has confessed that exploring human emotions on an album, for a change, was “awkward”. This statement will certainly be appreciated by dedicated followers of the group, as previous efforts on albums such as The Tokyo Steel and Frontier Justice contain very definite post-apocalyptic themes, focusing on future alien worlds and machines.
Behaviours takes fans of the group on an eclectic, shiny new adventure where no two songs are alike, a feat that is rarely accomplished by even the most established bands of our time. Songs such as “Waving my Heart”, “I See the Gun (And You’re the Bad Guy)” and “Terrible Things” possess the familiar electro/ rock/ dance vibe previously heard on earlier albums, while still having the ability of surprising the listener with their diversity.
Newest addition to the group, Alexis Young debuts her classy, unique voice and takes the lead with first release from the album “Times Electric”. Joining the band originally to fill the role of keyboard player, it was soon discovered that Alexis had a voice that could not be kept under wraps. Greatly complimenting Benedicts’ distinctive, commanding vocals for the best part of the album, Young also proves she can hold her own in slower paced, confrontational “Blindness”, a ballad reminiscent of a more contemporary, melancholic Nancy Sinatra number.
Any hint of apprehension that the band members may have felt as they took their style in a different direction with this album would have been completely unwarranted. Tumultuous, urgent songs such as “The Brave One” will have you singing along at the top of your voice, making you want to be in the company of a crowd of reveling fans at a live show, while songs such as title track “Behaviours” will find you comparing personal issues to the lyrics. In fact if you are someone who takes time to actually listen to lyrics and who allows music to dictate your mood, this album will see you experience highs and lows as you make your way through the track list.
It is difficult to make a comparison between Sex with Strangers and a current band. If pushed I would suggest that they share some similarities with British Band Editors. However, there is only one Sex with Strangers, and if you haven’t heard of them or listened to their music before then I strongly suggest you do – they have a song for everyone.
Behaviours is available now to download from iTunes.
- I See the Gun (And You’re The Bad Guy)
- Time Electric
- The Brave One
- Terrible Things
- Pentagram Blues
- Waving My Heart
- Call In the Night