# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Straylings - Entertainment on Foreign Grounds

  by Lisa Torem

published: 17 / 2 / 2012

Straylings - Entertainment on Foreign Grounds
Label: Deadpan Records
Format: CD


Innovative psychedelia on debut album from London-based band, the Straylings whose singer Dana Zeera is originally from Bahrain

Last summer the Straylings released their first EP and now, their debut, 'Entertainment On Foreign Grounds'. The lead singer and songwriter, Dana Zeera moved to the UK in early 2000 and found that it was a welcome change from her life in Bahrain. Local Londoner, guitarist, Oliver Drake, who had been signed with Rough Trade for the Veils, soon joined her. These original songs have odd titles that arouse curiosity. ‘Carver’s Kicks’ is the first. We get access to Zeera’s intoxicating, vocal lilt, which, set against psychedelic guitar and pervasive rhythms, manufactures a strong impact. The lyrics are sometimes indistinguishable, but it doesn’t much matter; the mood vibrantly comes across in each composition. The second, ‘Sleep Shapes’, has more flagrant instrumentals and more divine moaning divined by Zeera. She is in good company as her band mates provide additional mood expanding and mind blowing emotion. In general, the bands chops are incredibly reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane -though Dana Zeena is no Grace Slick, but that’s what makes the band unique. They pull from many obscure times and places. Overall, the scattered lyrics sound more like they had risen from the ashes of a Timothy Leary, than a contemporary songwriter, and that’s another engaging factor. ‘The Spoils’ is blithely forceful, yet whimsical and quite different from the other numbers. This cascading waltz triggers memories of the Dresden Dolls, more than of 1960s stoners. ‘Bitter Face’ is spiked with drug references and vocal asides and reveals still another side of this innovative band. The next songs do much to illuminate Zeera’s silky voice; at times it is embraced by subtle harmonies, and it sparkles over stringent keys. With titles like ‘Kings of the Mire’, ‘Arcadian Moon’,‘The Unraveling of Mr. Ed’ and ‘Animal Flag’, you find yourself already intrigued before the inventive introductions take place. This second half of the record is underscored by driving drums, breathy harmonies and bold bass lines; all textures, which make a snug, featherbed for Zeena’s impassioned cries. The Straylings continue to tour the UK in support of this exciting debut, though their unique sound will unlikely remain foreign much longer.

Track Listing:-
1 Carver's Kicks
2 Sleep Shapes
3 The Saguaro
4 The Spoils
5 Bitter Face
6 Marie & the Dusty Lands
7 Kings of the Mire
8 Arcadian Moon
9 The Unravelling of Mr Ed
10 Animal Flag
11 To Lay Down Roots

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