Already gunning for our Top 5 of 2018, Strvngers make an even stronger case for their inclusion with their new “EP”, Exhumed Vol 2. And you didn’t read wrong, those quotes are NOT a typo. We only add them because of the sheer length of this release which includes five covers, five remixes, and a previously unreleased tune. Yeah, it’s big.
Speaking of big, the album leads off with a cover of Korn’s “A.D.I.D.A.S.” which is massive. We previously compared Maria Joaquin’s voice to Jonathan Davis when we reviewed Amor/Noir (Read the review here) so it’s really no surprise that this is what opens their new mega EP. And what a filthy version it is! Sampling the iconic guitars and surrounded by a massive wall of beats and inappropriate samples, Strvngers put their unique spin all over the track concluding with a nod to “Falling Away From Me”.
The unreleased track, “Dying On The Dance Floor”, is even more of a danceable beast than what was found on the full-length released earlier in the year while the remix of “This Is Not A Phase” is even MORE (There’s a lot of “even more” to be found here) poignant in these trying times when kids (and adults) are pushed to conform to the “norm” instead of being themselves as Joaquin cries out even more (Again!) pointedly “This isn’t a costume/This isn’t a phase/This isn’t going to go away!”
Following that somber note, Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” comes off as a joyous, triumphant contrast with Kyle Craig’s excellent Steve Stevens-like guitars which brings us to another point: the flow! Despite the remixes and covers, the flow of Exhumed Vol 2 is immaculate acting as more of a proper follow-up with refreshed versions of older songs and vibrant reinterpretations of classics rather than a disjointed collection of tracks thrown together to tide fans over until a new album is out.
Comparison is a thing in reviews, okay? We compare artists to other, more familiar artists sometimes to give people an easier understanding of the description of a sound that we’re trying to convey. That said, when it comes to covers there’s comparing to the O.G. and comparing to other versions of the same track. Right now we’re focusing on the latter only because Marilyn Manson JUST released his version a few months back.
I grew up on horror movies and action movies of the ’80’s. One of the defining flicks of my youth was The Lost Boys and especially Gerard McMahon’s gothic anthem of “Cry (Little Sister)”. I was really excited to hear Manson take this on as he’s an obvious choice to take on what I think of as an iconic song of the ’80’s and the vampire genre. But I was wrong because, frankly, Manson doesn’t have the chops these days to pull off the vocals. Luckily, Joaquin does and Strvngers has the ingenuity to craft an equally iconic track utilizing samples from the film and making it even creepier than the original.
And if that wasn’t enough for you, Exhumed… also offers up Strvngers’ impassioned take on “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails and a bangin’ version of “Party All The Time” (Yes, that “Party All The Time”) as well as remixes of more Amor/Noir beauts like “Wanderlust” and “Fetisha”.
Exhumed Vol 2 is out through Negative Gain Productions on the spookiest of October days: the 13th, of course! You can grab a free download of “A.D.I.D.A.S.” below and keep your eyes peeled to the pages here and here for links for the full EP. And! If you want even more from Stryngers, you can head on over here to check out a mini-documentary on the duo.