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Strobe - “Bunker Sessions” (2017) review

Strobe - Bunker Sessions (Sulatron Records, 2017)

Strobe was a very cool UK band from the early 90s. I have all their old records so I was very interested to hear this record. This recording is from 1994, when the band had moved on from its LOOP inspired repetitive psych rock.

It was recorded in between The Circle Never Ends LP and the Alienation one (1997), when the band’s sound had become more mainstream. Anyway, at the Bunker studios, they set in with the three guitar line up and just played and recorded. This is all live with no overdubs but some vocals. The opening track is 10 min long and called “Sun Birth,” a slow building track with the 3 different guitars mixing in riffs, bending notes, etc. as the drums and bass just keep the jam moving forward. It is a quite open sound production so you can hear all instruments clearly. By 6 min one of the guitar players hits lead mode and plays a very cool solo and then another joins in as they start to weave. Cool jam. “Into Your Skin” is only 3 min long and a proper song with vocals. It ends quite fast as I was just getting into it. “Obsession” and “Chameleon Earth” which starts side B both actually appeared on the Alienation record from 1997 but in a rerecorded version (“Zoo Station”). I really like the delay guitar line on “Obsession” as it builds up and balances the vocals. Great song. “Chameleon Earth” speeds things up a bit but keeps the sort of dark but melodic feel of the music and features Mitch’s vocal. It also features some very melodic guitars. “Opium Dreams” features Helen on vocals and starts very dreamy but slowly builds up on the back of the wah guitar as it slowly builds and gets more psychedelic. The vocal remains very light and dreamy, despite the more psychy guitars. “Sun Death” is the final track and it is an instrumental and very cool. If you dig the bands from the 90s, this is a must. Great find by Dave of Sulatron Records.

- Scott Heller
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