'Public Strain' was the second and sadly last album from Canadian art-fuzz-pop-rock band Women. Taking cues from softly psychedelic 60s rock and dialling the reverb a long way up, the album is somehow immediate and distant and the same time, concluding in the lovely, yearning repeated riffs of 'Eyesore'.
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I've been told by people that I should enjoy the new Women album so, as not to disappoint said folks, I'm gonna really go to town with this one... ENJOYMENT TOWN! Though their self-titled (and self-released) debut seemed to be loved by all who came into earshot of its sonic beauty it seemed to pass me by. Well, the same can't be said for 'Public Strain' because here I am, listening to it right now and I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that I am suitably impressed. Women are a dynamic yet tasteful rock outfit that have more in common with New York post-punk bands like Television than they do with the likes of the The Beach Boys or the Beatles yet they do utilize many of the same playing and recording techniques that I associate with 60s psychedelia and they do kinda sound like hippies (no offense lads). Reverb mystery and psych pop melodies play a big role on 'Public Strain' with the tracks sounding well considered, comfortable and laid back. I guess it sounds like The Velvet Underground in many ways but with more sonic layers of intrigue.... Whatever, it sounds good to me.
9/10 Iain Customer review, 3rd November 2015
Hey. there's about 12% of anything that's any good. fact. Seems like Women clipped the 12% off of the Velvets, Sonic Youth, Polvo, Syd Barrett, most of 53rd and 3rd, Silver Apples, added a little C86 and somehow managed to create a record which comes off as completely temporary. Non production, organic drifts a la This Heat, I really cant recommend this record enough. Following the unfortunate passing of guitarist Chris Rheimer, Women reformed as the also remarkable Viet Cong only to then cop hassle over the correctness of their name. Sheesh.
Public Strain is possibly my no.1 guitar record of the century, although its a pretty young one.
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