The Living Strange’s sophomore extended play (EP), “Home?,” finds the rock duo in an electronic-heavy setting, even more so than their debut EP, “2 AM Freak Show.” Since first hearing them, their commitment to staying true to the rock ’n’ roll genre while also pushing forward to incorporating new sounds in the genre has been ubiquitous. “Home?” follows them along this path, making a bigger departure from the guitar rock on their debut. Instead of having guitar, vocal and drum tracks with synths and other electronics to beef up the production, The Living Strange move those elements to the forefront, creating songs that rely heavily on aspects other than things such as a catchy chord progression or a strong beat.
The change to this other sound—based in electronics as much as it is in traditional rock elements—is most present in the final track, “New Pet,” specifically the first half. Through layering a variety of synths, ethereal backing vocals, a drum machine and exposed lead vocals, The Living Strange show they can still maintain the general feel of their music—introspective, alive and innovative with hints of familiarity—while drawing from different palettes as well. It is fairly easy to hear their influences in both EPs, but the music is never near stale—it has powerful momentum with a sense of discovery as well as enjoyment the ability to express their thoughts through lyrics and music.
“Home?” is available via their Bandcamp, thelivingstrange.bandcamp.com, and streaming services. Elijah Strange, the guitarist, vocalist and front-man of the duo, will also put out a solo album track by track around spring, so be sure to follow the band’s Facebook and Bandcamp.