Album Review: Alpha Strategy | The Gurgler

Ontario-based Alpha Strategy is set to release their newest album, The Gurgler, on August 31. It's an album that embodies the fond feelings of the great outdoors and mixes them with some nostalgic childhood camping memories. Tracks such as "To the Woods That I Know," "I Smell Like A Wet Tent," and "Pissed Out The Fire," encompass the entire timeline of probably every camping trip anyone has ever been on.

While the three most gorgeous stages of a dingy outdoor getaway are represented subtly in the album, thats about where being subtle ends for Alpha Strategy. The opening track kicks off the album with wailing vocals and string instruments that sound like if peace and chaos got into a fist fight, but the real kicker lies within the sixth track.

"The Woods That I Know" takes the listener to a place where everyone has likely been at some point. Picture this: you’re at a party in a co-worker’s sister’s friend of a friend’s sketchy basement. You got way too drunk way too fast and the only person you know there left an hour ago. You’re drunkenly rolling your head around to the music, and this is the song that’s playing in the background as you feel yourself blacking out. If you’re not a partier, then instead imagine that you brewed coffee with an energy drink mixer instead of water, and then used it to swallow a bottle of caffeine pills. "The Woods That I Know" would be similar to the slow, alarming, murmuring sound of your heart when you hit the inevitable crash afterwards.

The final track, "Give Me The Mouth," is presumably what it would sound like if you played the bass through an amp made entirely of jello. The song lets each of its sounds have its own turn, forcing the listener into becoming acutely aware of each noise before bringing them all together, much like the frog in a pot of slowly boiling water metaphor. Granted, that’s how most of the album feels. The Gurgler takes up every millimetre of every minute and runs with it over the span of its seven tracks. Its seven ghoulish, eerie, anxiety-inducing tracks.

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