The great Cincinnati AltRock foursome Injecting Strangers has decided to go on what it is calling an “indefinite hiatus,” though the prospects of any activity in the immediate future don’t look good. The band has had an excellent run over the past few years, boasting one of the best live shows in town and releasing its debut full-length, Patience, Child, in 2014. (The album and previous tracks can be streamed/downloaded at injectingstrangers.bandcamp.com.)
But the group’s bassist, Dylan Oseas, says that vocalist Richard Ringer’s decision to move to Los Angeles brought all current activity to a halt.
Over the past year, Injecting Strangers had taken some time off from touring to work on material for a new album. But due to Ringer’s departure, Oseas says, “dozens of songs (were) left to languish in various stages of development.”
The musicians did manage to finish three tracks, which comprise Injecting Strangers’ new EP, Dyin’ to Be Born. Click below for a “first listen” to the tracks.
Fans of the band’s high-flying, catchy but progressive, eccentric and theatrical musical approach will not at all be disappointed with Dyin’ to Be Born, though the fact that it’s the group’s final output (for now, at least) might be a little depressing given how impressive it is. Still, it’s hard to be sad listening to the EP’s “Face of Nate,” which begins with a grandiose, operatic intro that would make Freddie Mercury smile down from the heavens, before settling into the meat of the song: a bratty swirl of attitude, a flurry of riffs that shed sparks and a groove that revs up like a funny car. Dyin’ to Be Born might seem short at only three tracks, but the epic-ness of “Face of Nate” alone feels like at least four exhilarating songs in one.
The other two tracks are more direct, but no less thrilling. The sardonic “WYM” (which stands for “white young man”) is classic Injecting Strangers, equal parts propulsive and idiosyncratic, but the EP’s highlight is the stellar “Father Phantom,” which shows how much the band members have grown as songwriters and arrangers since its inception. With a glammy verse that’s like an elastic update of Brian Eno’s “Needle in the Camel’s Eye,” the song segues into one of the best choruses the group has ever written, with Beach Boys harmonies warmly hugging Ringer’s insistent hooks. “Father Phantom” also includes a guest appearance from Why?’s Josiah Wolf, who plays vibraphone and tambourine on the track, but guitarist Peter Foley’s imaginative playing, as he paints the corners with chiming, ringing majesty, is the real star. Likewise, Oseas and drummer Chase Leonard are in peak form on Dyin’ to Be Born — if Injecting Strangers doesn’t return, hopefully the musicians will continue to play together in some form. They’ve really developed a special rapport, something that’s evident from one listen to the EP.
For more on the band (and/or to keep an eye out for any possible further group activities), go to facebook.com/injectingstrangers.