Some fourteen people were hospitalised from one show alone. Billed with other acts at the time including Weddings Parties Anything, The Johnnys, Celibate Rifles and Bastard Squad, the band gained a reputation for drawing a loyal and enthusiastic following. The punk movement was the catalyst for an interesting musical direction and drawing from such great writers as The Clash, Elvis Costello and Ray Davies, Victor embarked on a journey of thumbing through their songbooks. He played in several Australian groups including Caravan and more recently, Victor Stranges & The Methinks. One of the line ups included Men At Work bassist and Grammy Award winner, John Rees.
Rees departed in the late 1990s and Victor’s brother, Michael, was recruited. Michael Stranges brought a Paul McCartney sensibility to the band’s sound which propelled the group into new areas of fine pop. Victor Stranges & The Methinks debut album, “Heading Back To You” (2002), featured Darren Aquilina on drums (Dada, Klown) and David Milne (Red Ant, Ice Cream Hands/Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos) on piano/organ/keys. Michael later went on to play in The Morning After Girls and Ripe and is currently working alongside other Melbourne musical luminaries Kim Salmon, Dave Graney, Clare Moore, Ash Naylor and Matt Walker in guitar supergroup, Salmon. After a hiatus of building a new recording studio and working as producer and musician on other people’s recordings, Victor’s album, “Hello Me To You" was released in September 2009. It was recorded, engineered and produced at his new home studio in Melbourne, Australia.
Having the home set up has enabled Stranges to have a lot more control over the final production and the result is a bona fide pop record. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Matthew Sweet and The Kinks lately,” he said. The album kicks off with the only co-written track on the album (with Matt Swanton), Morning Star. Weaving through an almost endless complex chord structure in the verse, the song resolves to the dumbest of dumb and infectious pop choruses (“do, do, do, do”). The second track, Hello Me To You, is probably the most hook laden song that Victor has committed to a recording.
The Kinks styled song points to the late 1980s/early 1990s era when vinyl was “well and truly gone” from the mainstream. The song describes an almost hilarious mismatched romance (“I thought you liked The Replacements but Bon Jovi was what you meant”) and is also a glimpse into the record retail business (“on Fridays we were rigging the charts, my contribution to modern arts”). Other stand out tracks include the Wilco meets Neil Finn song, “When The Morning Comes” which has a hypnotic piano. “Memories” is an interesting pop ballad; very Roy Orbison/Elvis Costello, both in its lyrics and sweeping 1960s Phil Spector production. “Is There Someone To Thank For All Of This?” could well be the perfect pop song for a parallel universe with strings in the middle eight section a la Paul McCartney.
The album confidently jumps around different music styles. None more apparent than “The Colour Of Your Street Is Gold” which is a gospel song that Al Green could easily cover, complete with Motown style backing vocals. The first single (Hello Me To You) from the new album was released to independent and community radio in Australia on September 4th 2009. Nearly 100 stations nationally added the song including the Home Brew Network covering 60 stations alone. The single was released to Australian commercial radio in early March 2010 and was released in the United States and Europe (July 2010). The single has gained traction from various industry types including Charles Foskett (producer for Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello) and Edwyn Collins (U.K.
singer songwriter), who are both fans of the track. In addition, "Hello Me To You" was named as one of the Best Albums of 2009 by Pop Underground. A distribution deal in March 2010 with Bruce Brodeen's Not Lame Recordings ensured the album receives exposure to the worldwide Powerpop community. In April 2011, one of Stranges’ songs became the title track and name of the album released by a group of international artists. “When The Morning Comes: Music For Libya” went from concept to release in only six days with the purpose of raising funds for humanitarian work in war torn Libya.
The album is available at musicforlibya.org. As songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Victor has followed an artistic vision and produced music that has been spinning around in his head for years. This is ear candy that speaks to the soul...turn it up! Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..