Stream City

Hoax

Written by: PP on 21/01/2015 23:56:33

Innovation. That's the platform Danish progressive punks Stream City have been using throughout their recorded career as a means to pursue their artistic ambition, rather than succumbing to simplistic three chord guitars or sugar sweet vocal harmonies like most of their international counterparts. Never satisfied with the norm, Stream City have strived to sound original and different from the status quo, exemplified on both of their EPs "Hello Gravity" and "Welcome Paramnesia" during the last four years, which the band have used to fine-tune their progressive, dark, and complex folk punk sound into a uniform expression. The resulting twelve songs' worth of complicated punk instrumentation drew equally much from third wave progressive ska as it did from traditional music genres in the process, but most importantly, they established a clear musical identity for Stream City to follow going forward.

As such, it's probably no surprise to most to discover debut album "Hoax" to be a straight forward and logical evolution for the band overall. The best ideas and musical themes from the EPs have been further honed to perfection, resulting in a busy soundscape with truly multifaceted melodies that redefine the meaning of ambitious for the Danish underground. Occasionally, it's actually worth asking whether there's a little bit too much going on, as the technically adept and innovative guitar riffs compete for your attention against equally racy violin passages often at the same time - all the while the rest of the instrumentation keeps up the intrigue factor high simultaneously. That said, when the interplay clicks, as it does on album highlight "Witch Hunt", I'll guarantee you there isn't a single soul standing still in a live environment. Here, the violins pursue an aggressive and complex lead melody that bursts out into a frantic, danceable soundscape that brings together funky bass melodies with unconventional instrumentation overall. It's an instantly catchy sequence that'll get your feet moving straight away. Elsewhere, "Hail The Machine" and "Dying Suns" display singer Dion Finne at his very best vocally - it's safe to say he hasn't sounded this good ever before. The cleans are spot on, and the rowdier sections create nice variation and a memorable melody overall in both songs.

At the same time, the band pays notable homage to genre classics much like they did during their EPs. "...And The Battle Begun" by RX Bandits and "Permanent Revolution" by Catch 22 echo as undertones to their sound, albeit rather as mere inspiration and influence than as a direct source of songwriting. This is good, because it underlines Stream City's much improved ability to string together consistently great songs while simultaneously offering potent contrast against some of the best releases this genre has seen recently, proving they can stand on their own against international competition. At the same time, it is important to remember "Hoax" overall is one of the most original releases in terms of structure and songwriting approach, so drawing comparisons isn't exactly easy as you dissect the band's challenging and extremely progressive interpretation of punk rock as a genre. Pushing the envelope doesn't even begin to cover the near-perfect execution of experimentalism audible throughout the record. Especially since the record is rammed with infectiously catchy dynamics that'll either have you singing, pacing a circle pit, dancing, or all a the same time. Indeed, originality is certainly not missing from "Hoax" and continues to be the key strength for Stream City alongside pure technical ability. When combined together with great songwriting overall, it's hard not to stand impressed at the end of the 45 minutes and then some that the record lasts throughout the course of its twelve songs.

Download: Witch Hunt, Hail The Machine, The Hoax, Dying Suns, Poltergeist
For the fans of: RX Bandits, Catch 22
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.02.2015
Prime Collective

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