Strangers are a long dead band from Wellington, New Zealand.
The first time I saw them was in 2007, not long after changing their name from GSH or Guest Stabs Host, (their rational was pretty funny and still immortalised on the internet HERE) they played what was probably the heaviest music I had ever seen at that point and the lyrics read like poetry. At the time I was listening to fairly straight up hardcore but this was a gamechanger, Strangers opened me up to what would become a myriad of influential bands (a number of which the singer Rhydian recommended) and obliterated a lot of the (very uneducated) preconceived notions that I held about what hardcore was and what it could be.
It’s difficult to pick a favourite song but Mersault Blues was what sold me on this band:
Yesterday I killed a man, with the sun in my eyes and my feet in the sand.
It’s hot in my hands
but welcome to my cellroom:
a star-specked night,
and my mother’s death was out of sight, out of my hands and transient;
as fleeting as these starry lights.
I don’t need god,
I don’t need hope,
I don’t need anything from them but food and water.
It’s true that justice reeks of piss and being alone;
but I could die tomorrow
or maybe thirty years from now, and it’s just the same thing.
I lay myself open to the benign indifference; to my brother in despair;
to the folded arms of life.
And I shed no tears,
I speak no lies.
Greet me with cries of hatred at my execution. I want the world to watch me die,
to see my head roll.
A martyr to nothing. Nothing.
Strangers were an important influence to the generation of younger bands coming up in New Zealand the late 2000’s, they proved that it didn’t take open chords and breakdowns to make music heavy and if not for them I probably would have lost interest in local music.
You can download their discography by clicking the link below, all records come with a PDF of the lyrics.
PS: Rhydians band that followed this THE BODY LYRE was pretty interesting as well, I understand that he features in the video below as a child on Welsh television…