New Brunswick Underground, Vol. 3
By Mike Doktorski
New Brunswick's alt-rock meets performance art specialists Suran Song in Stag (lead singer Suran Song, bassist Bil Weis, and guitarist Brian Sugent) check in with an emotive, beguiling acoustic track culled from their Analogue Love Muffin (Cruel Music 1998) single. Featuring only Song's vocals over sparse piano provided by recently departed drummer Jason Reynolds, "Tryst Trying Trust" stands in sharp contrast to the brilliant, noisy, odd-time disjointedness of the majority of the band's previous work 1997's Shiny Objects CD and "Kissing Judice".
Recalling at once an angry indie rock femme fatale a la Exile in Guyville-era Liz Phair vis-a-vis Polly Jean Harvey, a media savvy mistress born of pop culture obsession a la Courtney Love meets Scary Spice, and an introspective, I-share-your-pain, insouciant songbird for the psychoanalysis generation a la Jewel by way of Heather Nova, Suran Song draws listeners in with her slightly off-kilter lead vocal arrangement - a plea for forgiveness from the first-person protagonist, for causing hurt both unintended and unresolved:
I think it's time I buried this old hatchet,
In deep solid ground, buried it deep deep down
An artistic leap for an evolving band and a cathartic indulgence for guilt-haunted friends and lovers, "Tryst Trying Trust" serves as an end-of-the century "Landslide" for Hub City music fans.
Unfortunately for the casual listener, SSIS on disc lacks the multimedia dimension that drives the band's club performances to another level entirely. To fully grasp the nuances of consumerism, freedom, and gender themes that pepper the lyrical content of the songs, check this band out in a live setting.
At press time, Suran Song in Stag had yet to name a full-time replacement for departed drummer Reynolds, but they nevertheless plan to release their next full-length CD in January 1999.