The latest release from The Stroppies has a consistent theme to it. Its sound evokes flashes of vignettes and random memories from a fondly remembered roadtrip you and your friends once had. Look Alive! flows like a journey, it’s lively and kinetic with a consistent forward pace to it. The band wrote this EP while on tour in 2019, and it’s reflected in the sound. These unfamiliar conditions along with the feeling of being on a trip with your buddies is an indelible mark that’s embedded in its eight tracks. It’s jangle pop with great hooks and melodies where lively tracks are balanced with a few melancholic numbers. Mimicking the rolling hills, the sweeping clouds and the passing of towns and cities by the window, these songs are short and sweet and will leave you with good snapshots in the end.
Opener “Burning Bright” is loose and bouncy with a folk guitar flair. It’s fuzzy and warm, and evokes the excitement one feels as the engine starts running and you’re on your way. The title track follows like a cool breeze under the night sky with its constant driving rhythm and flashing guitar riffs. Guitarist Angus Lord describes it as an impressionistic depiction of Melbourne at night, something that shows up as the main setting for their music video.
“Roller Cloud” is a lovely duet sung by Lord and Claudia Serfaty. It’s relaxing and floaty, with sparse riffs and plenty of negative space to contemplate on. Perfect for a day that’s winding down. “Holes in Everything” is an electronic honky-tonk rock and roll tune that can induce bouts of shuffling and swaying.
“Enter and Exit” is where the band transcends into a larger than life indie pop nirvana. An explosive and wondrous mini-epic that culminates the entirety of their journey. A perfect ode to the many people and places one may encounter on the road.
Look Alive! was a result of collected snippets on scraps of paper, voice memos and iPhone notepads that the band recorded themselves. Where it shines is in its relatability and sincerity. The Stroppies deliver a great follow-up to their 2019 release Whoosh, shaking up their style and expanding their borders, showing that there is no slowing down for the Aussie group.