Prolific and Unconventional

The Cox Sintrific (Independent)
Stranger Lazy

By Kory Wilcoxson

For a band that's only been around since 2002, Stranger Lazy of Indianapolis has been more prolific than Dick Wolf creating "Law and Order" spin-offs. The Cox Sintrific is the band's fifth album and another one is already in the works. The question such mass production begs is: is the product any good?

For Stranger Lazy, the answer is "yes." The band thrives on the unconventional, from its original artwork to the stream-of-consciousness song titles ("Kidneystones and Palindromes") to the music itself. The sound is mostly alt-pop that is familiar but not easily placeable (for my money, I heard a lot of off-kilter influences like Guided By Voices and the Meat Puppets).

Sintrific has a four-track fuzziness to it that blurs the edges of the songs and gives the whole disc a "let's throw this thing together" quality. That actually works to Stranger Lazy's advantage, as the meandering pace of "Pictures of People Falling" and "Hello Mr. Boombox" set a musical course that invites a lot of stops for reflection.

The tone of the album is often melancholy but never negative and the band's willingness to experiment with their sound gives each song its own personality. Such originality is refreshing and welcome.

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