Barely Doin' Crime

by Strange Attractor

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It's hardly been long enough to recover from the initial shock of their excellent “Back To The Cruel World” LP, but Strange Attractor are already back to twist the aural knife with a new EP. “Barely Doin' Crime” is a suitably damaging successor, its six tracks running the gamut from psychotic creepycrawly dirge to speedy hardcore rant, the default position an off-kilter churn of driving rhythm and drunken buzzing treble that manages to stay unpredictable and surprising but never sounds remotely forced. Frontman Jeff Houle spits out his neurosis like a northern Ontario Doc Dart, and the fusion of voice, lyrics and music just drips menace, negativity, aggression and paranoia.


With the coals of Back To The Cruel World still warm, Strange Attractor gas the fire again with an equally raucous EP. Probably cooked in the same lab as the infamous Noise Tape, these six jams crammed into a 7” run the gamut from a dangerous trip to a dangerous trip and a press release. Mental corruption runs thick through these driving bangers, rife with breach of trust and altered documents: the seedy underbelly of a drunken façade. We’re burning down the walls of conservative values, one screaming riff at a time. Sounds like my kind of party. WEIRD CANADA


Mammoth Cave Records draws us in deeper with this little 7″ nugget from STRANGE ATTRACTOR. Barely Doin’ Crime comes hot off the heels of their catastrophic 2013 LP Back to the Cruel World.

Everything about it smells like something that’s been hiding in some secluded KBD punk 7″ vault, filed between the Angry Samoans, the Oblivians and Red Kross. Both parties serve up this punk platter in old school fashion, cramming six smoking tracks on a 7″ record. They’re all short (none over 2 minutes) with quirky themes and Jeff Houle’s snotty vocals bordering on psychosis and some social commentary all in one sentence. Sonically speaking, the tones are gritty and the melodies are familiarly sloppy – the production is something akin to early Mystic Records when they were putting out bands that sounded a little more adventurous. Throw on “Fashion Thug” below and you will be instantly reminded of Back to the Cruel World‘s terrifying snarl and menacing pace – you’ve been warned.
The Storyfoam Drone, July 24th, 2014



Rob Ford (mayor of Toronto, Canada) is nothing but a disgusting puss-inflated bigot that probably never sleeps at night. I expect a film to be made about Ford's tragic story sometime in the next 20 years and it would make me very happy if "Barely Doin' Crime" was playing in the background during an artful depiction of his last days on earth. Alone. Shivering on a toilet, bloated and red-faced with sweat dripping from his bulbous forehead. Seriously, listen to this song and imagine that. It's perfect right? Ford Nation is an abject failure that will no doubt be coming to a close very soon.

Strange Attractor has given us a great weirdo-punk single with only 1 of the 5 tracks exceeding 1:30. This slab is rife with intriguing vocals, paranoid lyrics and bizarre melodies that pull you in a like a fish-hook through your cheek. Front man Jeff Hule (formerly of STATUES) is basically from outer-space. It's great. This record is dedicated to Mayor Ford and the band of low-life cretins that follow him around like slugs on a turd. VICTIM OF TIME



Immer wenn ich denke, in Sachen primitivem Garagenpunk schon alles gehört zu haben, schafft es doch noch irgendwer positiv aus dem ganzen Sumpf herauszustechen. Das letztjährige Album von Strange Attractor war diesbezüglich auch noch mal ein kleiner Schock, der mich vor allem eins lehrte: Es geht immer noch mal eine Nummer reduzierter, einfacher und blöder. Und ‘nen gewaltigen Spaß macht’s trotzdem. Auf ihrer neuen EP geben sich die Kanadier ein (ganz kleines) bisschen polierter in Songwriting und Produktion, ansonsten ist aber alles beim alten geblieben: Garagenpunk, der auch etwas von der Wut der frühen Hardcore-Ära kanalisiert (und sich auch musikalisch nicht ganz unbeeinflusst zeigt), sich zum Glück aber dabei kein bisschen ernst nimmt. 12XU

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released May 30, 2014

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