No band was more willfully, confrontationally stupid than The Stranglers in their 1976-1979 heyday. No band worked harder to alienate its audience than The Stranglers did between 1981 and 1984, moving at blinding speed from dirty dirge-y Doors-y testosterone rock to science fiction scribbles to meditations on love to dinky synthpop. As a fan back in the day, I can tell you that it was a constant challenge not to be disappointed by the new material as it arrived. Yet through it all there was a strain of sensitive musicianship and a real open attempt to get beyond the straightjacket conventions of pop and psych, all with one eye on their chart performance.
This book represents The Stranglers perfectly. It gets at all the contradictions, has great intentions, offers baffling explanations for baffling behavior and artistic choices, and ultimately disappoints.
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