Big Head Todd & the Monsters

Strategem

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    4
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AllMusic Review by

The sleeper success of Sister Sweetly, which went gold without ever breaking the Top 100, held promise for this, Big Head Todd's second major-label release. So far, the group had sold to its fan base and to a sympathetic wider audience that responded to its neo-'70s sound. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Todd Park Mohr is a near soundalike for the late Quicksilver Messenger Service leader Dino Valente, and his band follows the cadences and blues-folk guitar lines of the San Francisco psychedelic bands and the Southern rock bands, especially Lynyrd Skynyrd. What Strategem needed was songwriting that could distinguish the group, consolidate its following, and advance its career. Instead, the album seems a step back, its songs ponderous, its performances too clipped and restrained. As a result, the album was on and off the charts in two months, and the band suddenly had to make up lost ground.

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