STRFKR wants you to dance. But you have to look cool while doing it. Over the course of their existence the Portland based outfit has married style and substance time and time again, with just enough intrigue to keep the listener intrigued. Between their controversial names (Starf**ker, Pyramid, Pyramidd, then the radio-friendly STRFKR) odd song titles (Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second, for example), and visual eclecticism, this band wants to be known, but not fully understood. With Miracle Mile, they accomplish just that.
This is STRFKR’s third release, following Reptilians in 2011, and it keeps the hipster kids shaking their hips from start to finish. Lead single While I’m Alive is the indie response to the #YOLO craze, without the annoying Drake T-shirts and sorority girl antics. It has a better baseline, too.
Leave it All Behind is perhaps the centerpiece of STRFKR’s current sound, with left-of-center synth patterns and indomitable groove. The band is at their best when they let their melodies soar, and the end of this track transports the listener to whatever planet Joshua Hodge lives on.
Other high points on the album include YAYAYA and Kahlil Gibran, which are other refinements of their overall sound. Atlantis is another burner, with high-pitched synths punctuating Hodge’s woozy vocals to great effect.
Overall, Miracle Mile is not an album that will change the world. But it accomplishes its central goal of keeping its fans and attracting new ones with its catchy, slick sound. And if everyone committed themselves to the aesthetic that STRFKR does, we’d have one cool, bright, and groovy world.
Written by Erik Lundborg, Radio K volunteer.