Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Modern Seduction review in The Georgia Straight

March 12-2009

The Georgia Straight

Sex With Strangers offers dystopian thrills

Local Discs
Sex With Strangers
The Modern Seduction (Boutique Empire)

The official word is that The Modern Seduction is a concept album that, according to Sex WIth Strangers, chronicles "a dystopian future where the free thinkers and libery-seeking rebels...are forced to take their 'live-forever lifestyle' to the underground". If that sounds like too much to wrap your vacant little head aorund, don't worry, because Sex With Strangers has packed so much thrilling sonic mayhem into the album's 10 unrelentingly inventive tracks that following the story like will be the least of your concerns.

The quartet's great accomplishment is sounding like it's transmitting from someplace far more exotic than rainy old Vancouver. Forget indie-rock guitars and old fashioned drums; The Modern Seduction is built on deep space synth bombs, glitched-out percussion squelches, and rise of the extra-terrestrial-robots vocals. Two songs in - which would be the throbbing bass-bombed nightmore "Moment 12" - you'll be wondering why the hell Sex With Strangers isn't fielding offers from Lollapalooza and the snotbags who run Vice Records. From there, the band manages to reference a long list of groundbreakers, from the Fall, to Caberet Voltaire to Does It Offend You,Yeah?, without actually sounding like any one of them. among the standouts, "Pledge of Allegiance" plays out like an unholy marriage between Ministry and April March, and "The Turning Point" gives you a good idea what direction The Cars mights have gone in if they'd roled off the new assembly line in 2034.

Don't forget that there is a story somewhere in all the scarily accomplished goodness. Too bad you'll be too busy dancing - and having your mind blown - to notice.

Mike Usinger

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