Strippers In Love (I Am What Im Becoming)
Crank this to 10.6 of 11 - Editors' Pick
Genre: Psychedelic, Stoner rock
Sounds Like: Bloodiest, Last Crack, Ink and Dagger
Strippers In Love have absolutely floored us sonically. We must harken back to former true 'under the radar' innovators like Last Crack, Barkmarket, or Mindfunk to recall such impactful revolutionary sound. Interestingly enough, we stumbled upon these musical wizards as they have just released their first album entitled I Am What I'm Becoming. The foursome have also just recently dipped their toes into the social media waters. Well, we would like to bolster their PR campaign and let you know that this album needs to be in your collection.
It has been quite some time since our listening tentacles have been this absorbed. We feel the power of their innovation with every additional listen. So much so, that its position in our heavy rotation is impacting our review production. We have found it very difficult to take this one out of constant rotation as it is frankly... addictive. To boot, the album is available on BandCamp as a 'Name Your Price' item. You may find yourself overwhelmed with guilt by low balling such brilliance.
Strippers In Love wrap complexity, precision, and majestic melodic genius into a very dark place filled with brilliant echo, jaw-dropping rhythms, and engrossing mayhem. Of course our review will not do justice to such a masterpiece. As a result we attempt our best one line stream of conscience garble below.
1. Tomahawk 07:31
2. Nightblooming 07:16
3. Beyond the Shadows of Doubt 07:53
4. Skinwalker 06:03
5. Wandering Albatross 06:22
6. Waves of Silver 05:53
7. Mandragora 08:30
8. Now That It's Tomorrow, Today Is Another Day 12:41
What are the highlights of I Am What I’m Becoming?
It seems we have backed ourselves into a corner with this question. This one joins only a select few albums in our library where the highlights are just too robust and lengthy to pay the correct homage. We want to draw out some of the unique moments, so let’s begin with stellar opening track “Tomahawk”. Upon first listen, we knew we had something special here as we were immediately drawn to the inspiring vocal chants of Daniel Jaime-Dwyer. Midway through the second masterful cut “Nightblooming,” we are treated to some dark harmonica work nestled in with ominous feedback, very original. The vocal range on “Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt” is downright superb, plus it’s raw and rhythmic.
The breakdown at the 2:00 mark on “Skinwalkers” is absolutely mind-numbing. The guitar has a lonely, yet cryptic Post-rock feel. “Waves Of Silver” continues to impress as the aquatic vocal work and echo maintains the myriad of sonic beauty and intensity. The song structure dances beautifully between heavy psyche and Post-rock. “Mandragona” features ominous lyrics and background voices, giving the listener another element to focus on. The epic 12:41 minute “Now That It's Tomorrow, Today Is Another Day” embodies everything the band is about: exploration on uncharted territories. The song features inspiring, arm raised to the sky vocals, dense heaviness and uplifting psychedelia. The track also subtly ties back-in the chorus echoed in the opener bringing us full-circle.
How is the production value?
The production value is exceptional for an independent release. Kudos to the production work by singer/guitarist Daniel Jaime-Dwyer. The layering between all the instruments, vocals and little nuances scattered is second to none. The innovative song structures are enhanced by the clarity and volume contrasts which help underscore the band's passion.
Does the album art reflect the music?
Absolutely, the ominous photo of two nude people in a forest lets the imagination run wild. The purple hue on the photo brings a sense of intrigue to the art itself.
What adult beverage to enjoy while listening to this album?
Undead Party Crasher by Clown Shoes Brewery. This 10.00% (ABV) Imperial Stout’s formula fits so well with Strippers in Love. Powerful aroma and complex notes of roasted malts, smoke, vanilla, whiskey, coffee, and cocoa. Full bodied and absolutely a one of a kind original.
What are our final thoughts of I Am What I’m Becoming?
With their roots tied to the UK and the Balearic Islands of Spain, Strippers In Love do not bind themselves to one particular genre, in fact they have opened the door to something exceptionally distinct and innovative. Yes, it contains elements of heavy psyche rock, Post-rock and stoner, but they have found a way to harness these styles and create something at a whole new level. We get excited about albums that transform us into a different mood. Ultimately this album transcends boundaries and transforms your listening pleasure into a completely unique state of mind. We know this sounds very lofty, but trust us, give this one a few rotations and you will be hooked. - 8/8/2016
Guitar/Vocals/FX - Daniel Jaime-Dwyer
Bass - Jeroni Puigros Brunet
Drums - Oriol Santamaría Jareño