A short and sweet experience, leaving listeners asking for more
Debuting their first EP, Strategies releases their self-titled EP, Strategies. After teasing fans with their first single early this year, the band released a short and sweet four-track EP.
Created remotely over the pandemic, old friends Paul Lask, Neil Hennessy and Brian Moss join forces to create Strategies. The band had become friends in the early 2000s after touring Chicago’s punk and indie rock underground scene and decided to come together while in quarantine, sending demos between themselves. The group released singles “Silent Count,” and “Outages” to gain fans’ attention, rewarding them with the EP featuring two new songs.
“Outages” comes through the speakers like an old-school radio statically playing in the background. The musical soundscape gives the vibe of a throwback ’90s mellow Smashing Pumpkins song. There is calm chaos throughout, as the guitar solemnly chimes on, there is still grit behind the calm. Even as the percussion gently leads the progression, near the end it picks up and wakes up the ears while listening.
Synths welcome the listener in on “Silent Count”. The track features an enchanting blend of electric guitar and synth melody within the hook. While “Outages” was a calm relaxing start, “Silent Count” picks up the pace offering more crashing grit that meets the ears. Aggressive vocals, building percussion and charging guitar offer a new soundscape, yet still keep an undertone of calm. The track allows itself to get loud but doesn’t take it too far.
“Fire Drill” kicks off with a bouncing melody that seems to fill every space in the room. An ambient nature to the song allows it to almost float, however, the percussion still keeps it grounded. The vocals though do seem to stand out within this track and not exactly in the best way. With the others before it, both vocal and soundscape meshed perfectly, and at times with “Fire Drill” it doesn’t. As the song is so ambient, the vocals are too cut and dry, not allowing it to find its place.
“Camp Elsewhere” brings the energy to close out this short and sweet EP. The album closes out by compiling every element heard in the EP into the last track. It carries the same power energy as “Silent Count,” the ambiance from “Fire Drill” and the same calm chaos of “Outages.” It is a lovely end to the EP, though it leaves the listener searching for more.
There is so much packed into Strategies’ newest EP release Strategies. This is the perfect quick study, coffee date or hangout soundtrack.