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Stravener | Alligator Allegory

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Rock: Album Rock Rock: Classic Rock Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Alligator Allegory

by Stravener

Intense and lyrically driven rock songs with a driving backbeat and superb production values. Intelligent and shrewdly created music; music to think about.
Genre: Rock: Album Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Outside Looking In
4:56 $0.99
2. Alligator Allegory
5:08 $0.99
3. October Song
4:57 $0.99
4. The Miracle
4:57 $0.99
5. The Long Game
6:21 $0.99
6. Soul Thieves
7:05 $0.99
7. My New Puritan
4:03 $0.99
8. Sleepers
4:27 $0.99
9. Your Name Out Loud
4:22 $0.99
10. The Last Great Secret
6:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Alligator Allegory is the second album in which I have tried to explore what I increasingly tend to call ‘back-to-basics’ song writing and production. Over the past fifteen years or so digital technology has given writers/musicians and producers a pretty much unlimited palette with which to push the boundaries of soundscapes and the structures of contemporary song writing. As a reaction to this I became increasingly interested in which constitutes the structure of a ‘song’ – the storytelling, the verses, the choruses, hooks, bridges and instrumental passages which make up the whole. How do they fit together so that they have a beginning, middle & end? This drew me back to the music of the early seventies, say between 1970 and ’75, a period which came to an explosive end with the advent of punk. It seemed to me that this period was a culmination of the song writing technique that had evolved throughout the sixties. The fact that it had come to a culmination in many ways enabled the advent of punk which, quite correctly, kicked the whole perfected house down; and, of course, other genres of music were also emerging as we hit the mid-seventies: Soul & disco, and electronic synthesiser-based output from Germany. All these would impact of the course that song writing would take in the second half of that decade.

The ten songs on Alligator Allegory were written first on an acoustic guitar and complete in themselves before being laid down in the studio. I spent a great deal of time working on the words to the songs, so that they told complete, rounded stories. Initially we went into the studio with twelve songs, but two I’ve decided to hold back from the completed album. Not because they weren’t up to scratch, but because they (1) made the album too long and (2) didn’t sound ‘essential’ to the album. One of objectives I strongly wanted to achieve was to create a set of songs which took the listener on a journey from first track to last: a coherence which gave the impression of ‘moving’ through a story musically & lyrically, like chapters in a novel, although not a ‘concept’ album by any means, I wanted there to be a consistency, flow-through in the ‘stories’ the tracks told. This would seem to fly somewhat in the face of the contemporary wisdom that the ‘album’ is dead in the face of single downloads and cloud-streaming. I actually don’t believe this is true. People who actively listen to music, as opposed to relegating it to the backing track of their lives, will always be drawn to sets of songs, and the interplay between them.

Likewise, the songs themselves have a very traditional structure: verse, chorus, bridge, solo, and so on. The trick, since most of the tracks run over the 4 minute mark (some well over), was to build them up with backing vocals and additional instrumentation, to sustain the listeners interest. Neil Pickles, who recorded & produced the album with me, had a keen ear for how each track needed to be built up and layered. He has also very expertly recreated the ‘analogue’ sound of the early seventies, although the recording of the album was entirely digital. Perhaps the aspect I’m most pleased with is the recording of the drums, Neil has managed to capture the ‘phat’ of Mick Parker's snare perfectly".

Chris Stravener
Spring 2011



to write a review

Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team

Fantastic Classic Rock CD
Stravener releases another fantastic Classic Rock CD, “Alligator Allegory.” Stravener gets back to the roots of Classic Rock and comprises a superb collection of songs that are reminiscent of the ‘70’s. These songs are crisp and clean and are dynamically balanced with mellow vocals, exceptional harmonies, and excellent instrumentation. The title track, “Alligator Allegory,” grooves with a free flowing energy as the smooth vocals sing the engaging lyrics. Another song, “The Long Game,” has sweet strings that complement the laid back vocals. Taking a turn to a slower beat, the ballad, “Soul Thieves,” has emotive lyrics that are sung with a sweet and charming tonality. “Sleepers,” is a song with a bouncy tempo, beautiful harmonies, and leaves you with an uplifted spirit. If you are a fan of David Bowie or Rolling Stones, then you will really enjoy the outstanding Classic Rock songs on the album, “Alligator Allegory.”