Strange Ranger - Remembering the Rockets LP (Ltd Color Vinyl Edition)Tiny Engines
On its third full-length Remembering The Rockets, Strange Ranger continues to excel at translating the way intimacy can feel so overwhelmingly gigantic. With a dozen releases across its 10 years as a band, the Philly-via-Portland-via-Montana group has traversed genres, moods and textures while maintaining one important throughline: an exploration of closeness. 2016s double-LP Rot Forever was a 72-minute freakout that paired Built To Spill grandiosity with early Modest Mouse intensity. On the 2017 follow-up Daymoon (Tiny Engines), Strange Ranger hung up the distortion pedals and traded caustic yelps for Alex G-esque croons. It was a synth-adorned, insular bedroom-pop record that floated rather than soared, and the band opted for lyrical impressionism over the hyper-specific outbursts of the debut. Farontman Isaac Eigers writing style reads like a loose assembly of quotes from conversations hes had with others spliced with his own, private introspections. He is a modern master of conveying the anxiety and uncertainty of growing older through a mixture of childhood nostalgia and interpersonal tidbits. Theres plenty of that on Remembering The Rockets , but after all of these years of singing about Eigers own coming-of-age story, the album approaches the quandary of whether hell ever be able to impart that processthrough which hes reaped so much artistic joy and curiosityonto someone else. For a topic as severe as ecological collapse affecting his own parental aspirationsas well as other melancholy ruminations on loneliness, the passing of time, and the complications of emotional intimacyStrange Ranger still ended up making the lushest, smoothest, and most pleasingly hypnotic album of its career.