The bitchin' van-mural-inspired sleeve design definitely piqued my interest in Hello Stranger, so imagine my disappointment at putting on their self-titled disc and not hearing any of the witchy-wild stoner rock promised by the freaky fantasy art. All you get is some lame-ass synth pop blather by what sounds like some Cardigans tribute act from Los Angeles sashaying through their favourite Blondie throwaways in an expensive studio. The only reason this ever saw the light of day is likely because the drummer happens to be Ry Cooder's son, Joachim Cooder, and the old man plays guitar on three tracks and produced it. Certain to provide embarrassment for years to come.
Catch Hello Stranger while you can at the Horseshoe Tuesday (October 3).