As a native Alexandrian, I’m especially ecstatic to share this record with you guys. My old friend Timmy Sly (formerly of Crestfallen, currently of The Ar-Kaics and DIG! Records) recently released this archival vinyl LP reissue of this power pop classic, complete with an unreleased studio track.
Originally released by Wasp Records in 1983, it’s an unlikely piece in the underground rock ‘n’ roll puzzle. The Strand hail from Old Town, Virginia, a city known more for its Presidential Masonic temple than an original independent music scene. Situated on the Potomac River across from D.C. and its much-lauded hardcore scene, its no surprise that with the exception of diehard music nuts, The Strand’s recorded output has remained in obscurity.
Pop back-catalogues can be a mess of one-hit-wonders, near misses, and flat out failed attempts. “Seconds Waiting” was recorded in 1982 at Hit & Run Studios (yeah, like the early Void demos) and delivers a full album worth of hits – take your pick! It’s a rare instance of the power pop gestalt fully realized.
“You and Me” kicks the album off with a spot on slice of teenage naivety and a “96 Tears”-caliber organ run. “Popular Girl” and “I Understand You” sidestep the saccharine moves of their bubblegum and glam rock neighbors, for more austere vibes of Kinks-y doom and gloom, residue from a Brit-invasion hangover. Feedback cues the blitzkrieg of supercharged guitars on “Kids Today”, while the previously unreleased studio track “Scarred Streets” showcases the band at their most agro! “One More Ring” rivals Protex, The Nerves and Badfinger in the category of ALL TIME GREATEST POWER POP SONG FEATURING A TELEPHONE. Post punk menace weighs in on the second half of the album, oddly climaxing with minor chords and a haunting bridge on the album’s title track. An out-and-out KILLER long player throughout!