Reviews Guilty Pleasures Summer Strange

Guilty Pleasures

Summer Strange

Originally recorded at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit back in 2000, Summer Strange came to be under the pretense of simpler times. Although it’s taken 12 years to finally find a proper release and Guilty Pleasures is no longer alive and kicking, it’s an album that couldn’t have picked a better time to see the light of day as the dirty, sloppy brand of garage rock packed into its 33 minute running time is seeing a resurgence among the autotune and dance beats that pack today’s airwaves. Back in the earlier part of the 21st century, garage rock was at the height of its popularity with bands like The Hives and The Vines churning out raw, catchy songs that stripped rock and roll to its bare bones. Guilty Pleasures do a stand up job at keeping up with their peers, as Summer Strange flies along at a blistering pace, overflowing with tight riffs and spine tingling guitar licks. 

“Sum Thin Wyld” kicks things off with a cymbal heavy introduction and distorted guitars that drive the entire record. It’s as good an opener as any as Guilty Pleasures don’t stray much from the sound initially presented, layering raunchy vocals over energetic rock n roll. While individual songs have better than average introductions and choruses, unless you’re paying close attention it all blends into the same mass after a few tracks. “What Did You Find?” is the album’s catchiest song, its simple chorus reverberating pleasantly with the help a jangly tambourine. Other stand out tracks such as “Stretch Marks” and the final song “Till The Very End (Paraphenalia)" carry much of the weight for the rest, littered with solos and vocals that come close to whiny at times, but hold their own.

Summer Strange is an album limited by its recorded format as every song would undoubtedly be better represented in a live setting. While being explosive in nature, you can’t help but feel that things just sound too flat to really do it justice. This doesn’t help the monotony that sets in not too long after it starts with all the songs sounding too similar. However, Guilty Pleasures are obviously a fun band with a lot of chops and it’s unfortunate this album went unreleased for so long.

6.5 / 10Nick M.
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6.5 / 10

6.5 / 10

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