By Rich Quinlan
Suran Song in Stag - Cowboys And Indians (double cd)
This eclectic two-disc collection provides you with over an hour of intriguing, bass-heavy rock that varies in tempo and emotional depth. The double disc is split into two distinct halves: the Karaoke Cowboy Dance Disc and the Small Change Indian Trance Disc. Karaoke Cowboy was my favorite of the two, with Suran Song's vocals displaying an aggressive nature, particularly on some of the interesting covers performed by the band, including "Friends of Mine" by Duran Duran and the perfectly selected "Tattooed Love Boys," a song in which Suran delivers an honest tribute to Chrissy Hynde without simply imitating that legendary snarl. Other tracks of note include the powerful "Now Employment As A Right" and "Open Your Eyes." As much as Song's vocals will entice you, William Weis's bass playing carries the majority of the work, with additional support provided by Brad Yablonsky's drumming.
The Small Change Indian Trance Disc seems to exist on a very different plane than its predecessor. "Heaven," "Slow Burn" and "An Insect" are all more reserved efforts, skillfully delivered, but not nearly as abrasive or striking as the earlier material mentioned. Song's vocals are more ethereal and sultry on this disc, utilizing a sensuality that is soft and vulnerable, but not without intensity. This side of the band is a unique departure in sound which demonstrates the many skills of this trio. The band returns to a more challenging style on "Made In Philippines" and the raw "Hate My Way," an early Throwing Muses track written by Kristin Hersh on which Song screeches and squalls, straining the limits of her voice. Personally, I loved the rougher stuff, but Suran Song in Stag have a little something for a variety of listeners.