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The Stripper Project
Brilliant Life
headSPIN Records
www.thestripperproject.myshopify.com


For fans of She Wants Revenge. There, I'm just going to put that out there from the get go. With the homeland for The Stripper Project falling a few thousand miles away (and over an ocean), it's probably safe to say that the US has not been officially introduced to the band from the UK. But with their recent album Brilliant Life they are getting just that - an introduction.

Okay, yes, this is technically album number three, but those first two were EPs, so we'll start with this one. It's 10 songs filled with a little bit of dance, a little bit of rock and a lot of electronics. The key element that sets the Project apart from previous acts is the talent in the vocals. Neil Ash's voice has so many levels to it. From melodies, to sultry hooks and even a bit of angry rock-ness, there doesn't seem to be anything that he can't sing about. If that wasn't enough, the lyrics will throw you through another loop. They speak of everything from love lost to Coca-Cola. But don't worry; the latter wasn't just another Savage Garden attempt.

If you want to dance, then skip to track 4 and take a listen to "Wondergirl". The mixture of synth-pop with lyrics catchy enough to sing along to made this one of the standout numbers on the album. I could see this song coming up in a mix at the nearest Discoteca. "Nightsurfing" goes alternative, complete with angry bass, distorted vocals and pre-placed speaker feedback. The drama in this song was enough by itself, but when falling directly after "Wondergirl" one would question whether both numbers came from the same band.

It's always interesting to try to get into the mind of musicians via their music. Well with a title like "I'm A Twisted Bird" I'm actually slightly frightened to get in deeper. The music itself comes off very old school punk; quick beats, attitude-ridden vocals that are spoken more than sang, and a simple guitar chord progression, repeated over and over again. If you're more in a Moby mood, then you'll probably find something in "I Destroy Japan" that you'll enjoy. The distorted vocals are back and there is even more of an electronic vibe (if that's possible). The dynamics in this number are strong; jumping between rave-like dance beats and orchestral notes keeps each listener guessing. While it wouldn't fit well on a radio spot, there is still enough in the 6:28 to attract fans.

If you're looking for hardcore UK rock that borders on goth, this album is not where you'll find what you are looking for. However, I will go back to my first statement; for fans of She Wants Revenge.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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