It was only a couple of years ago when I first saw Strickland at the metro in Adelaide, with local legends Anchors and Hightime. At the time they had just released a split with Cavalcade through Hookturn Records, and I was instantly blown away by their live show and the split I ended up with at the end of the night.
When their debut album ‘Human’ was released in January, there was no doubt this was going to be another solid release from the Melbourne quintet. The driving pace of ‘This Is Love‘ lends itself perfectly to front man Scooter Stevens emotive, desperate vocals with the kind of fire-bellied harshness that gives considerable weight to the words behind them, complimented by bass player Josh Burgen’s on point harmonies makes the vocals a standout on this release.
The band enlisted the services of Beau Mckee of Melbourne’s Oaklands Productions for the recording of their debut. The production of ‘Human‘ doesn’t jump out as its strongest point, that being said, the style in which it is mixed does help to capture the raw energy and authenticity that Strickland’s songs and style command, and over polishing a record like this is an easy trap to fall into.
A guest spot from Marcel Gadacz of Dream on Dreamer fame on their second single ‘Suffering‘ is another highlight, before ‘This Is Forever‘ the token slow, clean guitar track of the album. It is perfectly placed to give you a little breather before the final three tracks kick back in, the car window goes down and your screaming along again.
The final track is the anthemic ‘I Will Follow You‘ a perfect track to end an album or a packed out show. ‘Be Free‘ and ‘This Is Love‘ are also hooky, infectious numbers, with the latter of the two being a personal stand out track.
If you’re a fan of bands like Anchors, The Wonder Years or Such Gold, get your hands on a copy of ‘Human‘.