Vancouver’s Sex With Strangers released their 4th independent album late last year called Behaviours. Unique to this album is the addition of keyboard/vocalist Alexis Young who totally changes the dynamic of the band in the creative process of songwriting. With a trilogy of concept albums behind them, SWS are writing songs about “dystopian themes – but this time we focused on matters of a human nature – namely tension and relationships” says frontman Hatch Benedict. He continues by saying “our hope is that people will question whether they’re actually listening to the same band from song to song while still enjoying the album as a whole”.
The track listing is as follows:
2. I See The Gun (And You’re The Bad Guy)
3. Times Electric
5. The Brave One
8. Terrible Things
9. Pentagram Blues
10. Waving My Heart
11. Call In The Night
Let me just start out by saying that this is a CD that I’ve been listening to for 6 months. Due to a vacation that involved numerous health issues that seem to be subsiding just now, I was inspired by this particular CD while ill due to the fact that this is a progressive, funky, crazy band which isn’t all that much different than my own personality. That and the fact that I really like this bands’ music and their live shows are a highlight of any club gigs I go to – and they are just so damn COOL.
“Behaviours” is a song that has minor tones of music which gives it a sombre and dystopian feel. Lyrically, this is a song about being afraid of how someone makes you feel internally and how they make you want to change – your life, your job, your feelings about life…..finding your way alone is hard but choosing to find your way with someone else is mind-blowing to an individual who never saw it that way ever.
“I See The Gun…” is a funky and fun song musically but in some ways totally opposite lyrically. The beginning of the song reminds me of a TV theme show song but it quickly turns into something like someone you’ve known well may want to cause you harm emotionally. Lyrics like “I don’t see the sun honey/I don’t see you smiling through the window/I just see the gun and you’re the bad guy” and “I see you slithering on the ground” gives me a good impression of what that person is really like. It could also hint at someone playing games with you that you go along with for a while until you want serious time with that person who may not be able to give that to you.
“The Brave One” is a song that I can really relate to because in my past there was a person who wanted my “hard reaction” but being young and stupid (and possibly drunk) and having many other personal issues that could have affected the other person, I never showed any reaction. Musically, however, Rob Zombie couldn’t do it better. This is my favourite song on the album.
“Pentagram Blues” is musically a harder edged song that I’ve ever heard from SWS. “Ain’t that the truth” is well said in this song lyric. Chaos is also felt in this song as well as negative feelings like sadness and jealousy.
All in all, I really like this album as it’s a 50% departure of theme or concept albums and enters the realm of human nature and emotions involving reason, fear, torment, sex and love (lyrically). Musically, some things have changed but in a good way as this is a band that is always moving forward – they don’t get stuck in a rut or move backwards – and that’s a good thing.
You can download the song “Behaviours” for free on the bands’ Bandcamp site where you can buy the album directly from that site as well as from iTunes Canada. Photos of the band are courtesy of Lindsay Elliott.
The band can be found at the following links:
The official band website
Video for BEHAVIOURS and other videos by the band: