CD Review: Strezo — Haunted House Volume 1



Haunted House Volume 1

Stick Figure Recordings

By Samantha Parvin

Kristen Strezo, the vocalist after whom the band is named,
along with multi-instrumentalist Robert Filippo, introduce their second
full-length album, Haunted House Volume 1, today. Collin Guy, Pablo
Cerda, Fernando Medina, Kilton Hopkins and Deisha Oliver complement the duo
with several instrumental additions to create a Progressive World Folk sound.

If you are looking for a foot-tapping, fist-pumping new
sound, then Strezo is not the band for you. Its melodies are quite
complex and are not meant to be an easy listen. The instrumentation and vocals
are both experimental and toy with the use of minor keys, which are appropriate
for the “Haunted House” theme. Some tracks could be placed neatly among the
screeches and wind howls of a Scooby Doo episode.

Generous percussive soundscapes paint the 10 tracks of Haunted
House Volume 1
; the use of such instruments as hammered dulcimer on “Spray
Paint” and “A Thousand,” glockenspiel in “Three Hummingbirds,” and cello on “In
Defense of Dreams” promote the group’s instrumental virtuosity. Kristen
Strezo’s vocals are theatrical and span a wide range of notes, yet the focus is
more so on the messages in her words than on the melodies and harmonies. 

The title of this album insinuates a second volume to come;
so whether Strezo’s Haunted House Volume 1 is palatable for you, please
stay tuned for Volume 2.  

Strezo will play with Plants & Animals at The EARL on March 4. Get your tickets here.


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