Review: Strange Pursuits “Day Ravies-Liminal Zones”

Strange Pursuits' newest album, "Day Ravies". Photo courtesy of Bandcamp

In my mind, good music is that which touches both the mind and the heart. Whether it’s that fun song you listen to on every roadtrip, the one that’s sure to raise your spirits, or that subtle, mesmerizing tone you need on those quiet, introspective afternoons, good music always makes its power felt. It’s for that reason that Australian indie band Strange Pursuits’ new album, “Day Ravies-Liminal Zones” should come as a welcome addition to any music library.

Any doubts are immediately dispelled as the album begins with the sublime “Fake Beach”. With an upbeat rhythm and twangy acoustics nicely balanced with subdued and vivid vocals, the track (indeed, the entire album) sounds very Beach Boys-esque while still retaining its own unique identity and does an excellent job keeping up the good vibrations throughout.

By far, the biggest standout track has to be “Nettle”, in which every positive aspect of the album is amped up to ten. The whole song is refreshingly dynamic with an aggressive drumbeat and the ethereal vocals are almost hypnotic. The song plays almost perfectly balanced from start to finish.

Though the album is superb in quality, it does still suffer from a few balance issues, and as such, tracks such as “Immaculate Escape” which would otherwise be just as hypnotizing in their strange tranquil yet upbeat sound don’t reach their full potential as listeners struggle to make out the lyrics. The same principle applies in “Halfway Up A Hill”, where the instrumental power and screeching noises overshadow the tender vocals. Thankfully, by the time the listener reaches the final track  the album has sorted out these issues, ending on the very impressive high note that is the emotional “Binkies”.

The best part of “Liminal Zones” is that, balance issues notwithstanding, nearly every track has something meaningful and original to contribute. Some are dynamic, others are soulful and moving, and each is made with passion.

Well done, very well done.

The album is available for purchase and sampling on Bandcamp.