SCREEN VINYL IMAGE
Album review: "Strange Behavior"
By - Catherine P. Lewis
Friday, Apr. 20, 2012
The District's noisegaze band Screen Vinyl Image seems so much bigger than it is: The group's second full-length album, "Strange Behavior," features a shimmering wall of layered guitars loud enough to rattle speakers. But that thunderous roar is created by just two people: husband and wife Jake and Kim Reid, formerly of Alcian Blue.
Screen Vinyl Image's barely containable sound gives "Strange Behavior" an ominous air; album-opening "We Don't Belong" shudders and pulses as Jake's uneasy chants of the song's title escalate in intensity. The devastating "My Confession" takes a slower tack; its plodding, trancelike tempo and heavy vocals add a darkness reminiscent of Joy Division to the band's obvious My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain influences. Most of the album is more frenzied, with such tracks as "Revival" and "Night Trip" propelling forward with a driving energy.
The band's simple formula - guitars, vocals and drum machine - doesn't allow for a wide sonic diversity, but that narrow focus is not uncommon in shoegaze bands. Screen Vinyl Image turns those minimal components into an enticing album, channeling its layers of reverb-drenched guitars into a siren's noisy song. The band's instrumentation might not be complex, but it's hard to turn away once these alluring songs begin to rumble.