Hey! Wanna be the coolest kid on the block? Stratford 4 figured out the indie-rock formula for success, and all you have to do is follow what they did.
One: have two guys quit your band to form Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Two: call your music "noise-pop" and compare yourself to My Bloody Valentine and Velvet Underground in your bio. Three: get your label to buy a big ad for you in CMJ, and hire street-teamers to infiltrate internet newsgroups to tell everyone how great you are.
I'm sorry, but "noise-pop" they ain't. Far from it, "Love and Distortion" instead stumbles around in an inoffensive territory somewhere between Oasis, Mellonova, and Jewel. Without anything particularly original or interesting to say, Stratford 4 instead spend their time farting out one after another of the same indie singer-songwriter ditties that your brother's friend plays every Tuesday down at the local pub. Whether you're looking for noisy guitars, songwriting ability, musical originality or poignant emotion, you'll find about as much on this CD as you will at your local open mic night. `Tis all image over substance.
By John Merral
Apr 5, 2003