The Gresham Flyers - Sex With Strangers

Brent Owen 19/06/2008

Rating: 3.5/5

Sex With Strangers is the debut album from London based band The Gresham Flyers and it's quite impressive for their first shot. This collection of dance-rock anthems hints at a musical maturity far beyond the usual debut album, especially when one considers that they produced the album themselves too.

On the whole the lyrics don't break any new ground -in fact it feels like one long narrative chronicling the London club scene. And the band sounds very much like Stars - lead singer Johnny Warning sounds strikingly like Stars front man Torquil Campbell. But their ear layered compositions and fresh arrangements prove that The Gresham Flyers are far more advanced than most of their fledgling peers. I have a feeling that this could have cultivated a bit of ego among the band members. They might be headed down the holier-than-thou Oasis route already, and if that's the case nothing gets in the way of good music like someone's over-inflated sense-of-self.

“Student Nurse” carries with it a vague influence of early Primal Scream records; while the song itself begs for a club remix. And on “Foolscap” the second, female lead singer Sharon Leach's voice rises like a tortured angel from a haze of synthesizers into thumping anthem for jilted lovers. And every now and then the melodies and interplay between Warning and Leach's voices unite and do something amazing and intangible. Unfortunately though, the band doesn't utilize that vocal chemistry as much as I would like.

This is a debut album that could put a band on the map if they can slide it into the right hands and onto the right dance floors. However, I can't help but wonder what might happen if they had a big time producer behind them who would be able to even better, showcase their strengths and hide their weaknesses.