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Australia’s prolific cult rockers StrangeJuice have returned with more of their unique brand of neo-psychedelic indie rock. With ten albums under their belt in a little over as many years, the secretive group released their latest record Raising Cannibals this month. Conceived and recorded in only two weeks so that the band’s ideas wouldn’t grow stale, the album nevertheless is lushly produced and even oddly beautiful at times. Like always, however, the band’s influences of The Pixies and Ween mean that there will always be a proclivity to baffle and confuse at the same time they craft some truly catchy and inspirational pop moments.
After the angular, whiskey-soaked dirge “Big Jim Smoke” which sounds like the mutant child of Tom Waits, the group explores endless avenues and corners, trying out bits of different styles like electronic and hip hop on “Hey You” and ’90s power pop on “Put The Television On,” but always there is something off, like a kaleidoscope twisted once or twice, distorting the image. There are still glimpses of occasional beauty like the haunting, ghostly album closer “Horse’s Eyes,” and Raising Cannibals ends not unlike the work of The Magnetic Fields —inextricably attached to the music traditions of the past and yet could only possibly be the product of one singular artist.
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