SiP’s new EP: Worth the weight

Strangers in Paradise.
Strangers in Paradise.

Review by Graham Chalmers

Strangers in Paradise: Weight of Possibility EP

Who else would try to combine classic funk-rock with chilled out soul and rap and slithers of prog and metal?

It’s why I’ve always cut three-piece Harrogate rock band Strangers in Paradise a great deal of slack, that and the band’s impressive muscular instrumental abilities.

New EP, Weight of Possibility is the closest they’ve come yet to turning their ambitious musical vision into reality.

Put simply, the songs are better, the vocals stronger and the sound fuller and brighter.

As recorded by Dan Mizen in his Harrogate-based Active Audio Studios, all six tracks feel like they were recorded live - despite their sometimes complex arrangements.

Fizzing with energy, the more upbeat moments are their most hook-laden yet - Judge Yourself, Nothing to Hide and, catchiest of all, #TwitterMouth.

As always, all three of these hard rock tracks benefit from SiP’s full-on appropach to instrumentation - drummer Andy Schofield, Andy Mosby with his hyper-active bass and brother Steve and his superbly varied guitar techniques and red hot 70s-like lead solos.

While scarcely a candidate for The Voice, Steve’s vocals have also improved to the point where they’re no longer an issue.

It would be easy to dismiss SiP as Chili Peppers Mars Volta Zeppelin (CPMVZ for short, if you like) - if it weren’t for their regular collaborations with sugar-sweet singer Soul Deep and deep honeyed rapper Tre.

While closing track Book of Rhymes is a fabulous one-take funk-rap jam, the single best moment on this breakthrough EP for Strangers in Paradise is track two, Downtime.

A lovely slice of early 70s soul with call and response vocals from Soul Deep and Tre, it’s simply a classic song from a brilliant band with a big future at this rate.