Stratford Mercenaries

Sense of Solitude

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Almost as bad as No Sighing Strains of Violins, Sense of Solitude is another careless disappointment from the Stratford Mercenaries, who seem to be incapable of good taste when it comes to recording. Here, it's not just the fault of bad production ideas and failed attempts at experimentation as it was on No Sighing Strains of Violins, but also some worthless songs. "Dispossessed" is a rotten karaoke-sounding song with some wack keyboards, while "Series IIa" is a guitar wankfest that's not unlike Chinese water torture. The Stratford Mercenaries prove themselves to be inadequate at playing anything but punk rock, though there's very little of that on this record. Singer/songwriter Steve Ignorant's former band Crass was more experimental than most British punk bands and was usually successful with that sort of thing. But the Stratford Mercenaries fail in a big way when it comes to branching out at all.

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