in january of last year, carpark records put out cloud nothings’ attack on memory, an album that had such a profound impact on me that it already ranks among my all-time favorites. the label seems to have a knack for discovering incredibly intelligent bands with a brazen sound and then making sure that they’re heard. the same sequence of events seems to have happened again with popstrangers, a trio from new zealand who recently released their fantastic sophomore album, antipodes.
accessible yet slightly menacing, antipodes is one of those rare records serving a reminder that straight-forward alternative rock is still very much alive and relevant. drawing on forefathers like sonic youth and nirvana, popstrangers adds their own unique spin on the genre, lightly coating vocals with reverb to gain a melancholy undertone and exploring every stylistic avenue open to them within the alternative rock spectrum. heavy hitter “what else could they do” nicely complements the downtrodden nature of preceding tracks, but the band holds true to the root of their name with the standout pop gem “heaven.”
popstrangers brings all of the necessary ingredients needed to create fantastic alternative rock on antipodes. while i don’t think another record will have the same immediate impact on me as attack on memory did for quite some time, it’s not a stretch to say that antipodes is an early contender for my best-of 2103 list. welcome to the club.