April 4, 2002

Test Spin: Stratford 4

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In The Stratford 4, one can’t help but hear echoes of Dean Wareham’s two bands, the long-defunct shoegazers Galaxie 500 and the more light-hearted and catchy Luna (who happen to be the 4’s current labelmates).

Frontman Chris Streng sings with a delivery somewhere between the morning-after musing of Wareham and Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan. Likewise, the music hovers in similar territory. As the title suggests, the album is imbued with an energy that accompanies and makes paradox this brand of noise-pop — walls of fuzzed-out guitars (