REVIEW: A Family Of Strangers – “New Techniques for Beginners & Champions”

If you’re a regular triple j listener you’ll have no doubt heard of The Butterfly Effect. That said, you may not have heard specifically of Glenn Esmond, or his new side-project A Family Of Strangers. Created as an outlet for musical ideas that didn’t quite fit The Butterfly Effect, AFoS’ first release is entitled New Techniques for Beginners & Champions .

My experience with The Butterfly Effect is limited to their more popular singles and their 2008 album Final Conversation of Kings, with their prog-influenced, heavy style of rock, that’s both accessible and entertaining.

The warped beeping of “Lovely (The House at Number 23)” sounds initially like something further from home, but the reality is that this is an EP full of anthemic, accessible rock. This isn’t a bad thing, but those expecting something a bit heavier won’t quite get there. There are moments of surprise that will throw you, and moving between the rockier tracks and softer piano ballads, AFoS have got musical movement and variation nailed.

There are some great textures explored, and it feels like although there are similarities between AFoS and TBE, they could quite easily branch out on their own to form another entity entirely. One of the biggest pitfalls of the side-project is that it will sound too similar to everything else and never take off. AFoS have got considerable influence coming across, but with continued effort and with time, I believe A Family of Strangers will find their own feet and impress their audience with a completely new charm not seen before.

Verdict: Give it a shot. Although it’ll be more for some than others, but it’s charming and an easy listen.

Get over here and grab a free download of “Don’t Forget (03.03.03)”.

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