90FM Album Reviews: Popstrangers–"Antipodes"
Mitchell Sluzewski


Lately I’ve been on a post rock kick. When I saw a new band come to the station under the Carpark label, which houses one of my favorite bands (Cloud Nothings), I had to check it out. The band is called Popstrangers and this is their sophomore album, Antipodes. They are a post punk band out of New Zealand and are under under the US based Carpark label (can you tell I like that label?). While they list Sonic Youth as an influence, which I can hear, I feel their style sounds like a mix of Gordons, Deftones, as well as Cloud Nothings to give you an idea. The vocals have the same sound as Sonic Youth with the echo and distortion, but the energy and volume of their instrumentals is much greater. The guitar lines are borderline prog in the intervals and in the way it plays with the main themes. The bass plays a much larger role in Popstrangers which is different from the post rock bands I’ve been listening to. I like that as it keeps you grounded while the vocals and guitar do their thing. The drummer has creativity and energy in his style that puts a nice shine on the music.

While all the songs make sense in an album setting, for radio play there are just a few that I would keep an ear out for. “Witches Hand” is a song with some pretty cool hooks, my favorite part is during the guitar breakout which juxtaposes the chaos from the guitar with the smooth vocals. “What Else Could They Do” caught my attention in the way the vocals in the chorus are a continual upward progression of pitch. This adds tension and puts weight to how and why people ask “what else could they do?” “Heaven” is a neat little song. It’s catchy while still keeping you on your toes with its stop start rhythm and circular chorus.