Kane Strang "Blue Cheese" LP (Ba Da Bing)
Kane Strang’s first proper album, Blue Cheese, picks up on the rough disaffection of his earlier demo collection, A Pebble and a Paper Crane, which he recorded in a WWII bomb shelter in Germany. Back in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand, Strang spent two curious months alone, housesitting for his parents. Re-nested, yet still isolated, Strang composed all of Blue Cheese over those quiet days. Lead-off track “The Web” channels pummeling bass lines punctuated by a twinkling synth that calls upon microscopic pop principalities of restlessness (“Yeah, I met someone else / Without leaving my little house / No, I haven’t held her yet / I met her on the internet”). Its abrupt ending parallels Strang’s own disconnect. “She’s Appealing” weaves Day-Glo guitar motifs into distant, detached ’80s garage pop vocals. “Never Kissed a Blonde” is driven by a slapping delay on both vocals and guitar. Strang’s path toward a melody is always surprising, and he never misses a hit-on-the-head-obvious-in-retrospect memorable line.