Strange Relations is a young Minneapolis post-punk trio that has been around for a few years but are just releasing their actual debut. After a few things available only on Bandcamp, Tiny Engines has released this EP.
It's a 4-song EP that clocks in at 15 minutes, and Tiny Engines released it on cassette. I actually like cassettes, but i do not currently have a cassette deck hooked up anywhere. And i would like to point out that, back in the 1980s, this would have been called a cassingle. The term cassette is reserved for longer works. This is 15 minutes work of music, so, a cassingle.
So, this is the debut cassingle from Strange Relations, a Minneapolis trio of Casey Sowa, who sings and drums, Maro, who sings and plays bass and synths, and guitarist Nate Hart-Anderson.
Drift kicks the EP off with a catchy indie rock tune. The lead female voice (and it is unclear if that is Ms. Sowa or the mono-named Maro) is quirky here, like she is trying to be like one of those old new wave female singers who went out of the way to make their voice sound odd – like Poly Styrene or Nina Hagen or someone like that.
On Ceremonies Strange Relations show us what Warpaint would be like if they were a New Order cover band. The guitar is echoed and strange and the drum is flat and mechanical, but the female voices move in echoing layers and the synths surge. This is a great tune, but if i just heard it randomly, i might think it actually is the latest from Warpaint. The voices are really produced similar to what those girls do.
Drift has the band playing a quirky post-punk rhythm that reminds me of Rodan. It has a kind of quirky, rhythmic tension to it.
Maro plays a lovely, slippery bass riff on Predation. The guitar is a blinding whirr that becomes a post-punk reggae influenced clattering. The voices are Warpainty again, but i love the post punk dub that they are doing here. And then, suddenly, it pops and becomes a frantic punk song, where the accent of the main vocalist becomes a clipped British accent (is she British?) and it reminds me of Lush. The song ebbs between those two styles, but it really works. I like this one a lot.
And the final track here, Weeknites is a frantic old school post-punk song. The drums tap flatly and the guitar and bass pick nervous, rabid riffs. Nicely done.
The whole EP is over in about 15 minutes, but an impressive 15 minutes. I really like what they are doing, and look forward to more from this trio.