Strange Fiction – Captivated By The Chaos EP
Released: July 24th, 2020
Grant McMillan | vocals
Arlen McDonald | bass
Miguel Mendoza | drums
Jackson Barnes | guitars
Faber | guitars
American author and radio commentator Wes (“Scoop”) Nisker once said: “Artists are visited by the Muses, or tormented by their own passions and demons”.
If there was a sentence to describe Brisbane Southern Metalcore outfit Strange Fiction, the aforementioned quotation would be more than fitting, it would be their autobiography. Truthfully, this somewhat confined genre description of the quintet suggests a small array of influences these Queenslanders have and it is very fitting to their musical recipe, included are, but not limited to: Fight Paris, Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster, Dead & Divine, early Memphis May Fire and of course the exemplary Every Time I Die.
However, this is NOT imitation (though it is the greatest form of flattery) – it is in fact, a blueprint. Reading these influences (or if one prefers “Muses”) develops an identity and for many heavy music enthusiasts, a consequential intrigue. For this writer, it is what brought a compelling curiosity to Strange Fiction; a curiosity that successfully killed the cat – the smug, ignorant and ungrateful feline and in turn, thankfully, gave this dog (and assuredly many others) a BONE.
The idea of “torment” is slightly misleading in this summation; the “torment” is actually not associated with suffering, but more-so a lyrical gateway and their demons being the band’s passions. Vocalist Grant McMillan is narrating a never-ending party viewpoint during this entire EP – not necessarily with complete positivity, retrospectively it is an appreciation of the “wonderful” in life and then how to overcome the “woeful”. This functions as the “magnet” so-to-speak; it isn’t refinement by any means, but by the devil’s worth, it is impeccably reliable.
Gratefully, the introductory track to Captivated By The Chaos, ‘PEN15’ is the hook, line and sinker. Strange Fiction soar at their most ripped and ravenous – this reeks of Every Time I Die, somewhere between the rawness of Gutter Phenomenon and the rockin’ of The Big Dirty; this scribe can’t quite find the words for the stench, so Ron Burgundy’s eloquent quote will have to do: “It’s a formidable scent… It stings the nostrils. In a good way.”
The Brisbanites redirect slightly after the “celebranthem” opener to a slightly darker edge in ‘Mr Miyagi Please Don’t Touch Me’; which surprisingly emits angst, disturbance and triumph all in one, similar to what the criminally underrated Feed The Rhino accomplished in their elaborate writing style. ‘Water; Playground For Dolphins’ flexes the heavier muscles furthermore, in a sense taking the reins from where Vanna left off before their saddening demise and to close, an inspired post-metalcore uppercut which contains both fun and fury – a complex happy hostility which The Bled accomplished consistently and a true feather in Strange Fiction’s party hat.
This scribe has already given a conclusion to the EP, so it is perhaps strange to surmise further. However, read the band’s name, exclude the fiction for now, because the FACTion is that these four tracks are a hell of a foundation to enjoy a ‘Punch-Drunk Punk Rock Romance’. Enjoy this with Memphis May Fire’s self-titled EP and Every Time I Die’s Salem EP and you will find yourself ‘Pretty Dirty’.
Strange Fiction – Captivated By The Chaos EP tracklisting:
2. Mr. Miyagi Please Don’t Touch Me
3. Water Playground For Dolphins
4. Schooner Or Later