Inclement weather may have been in full force Thursday night in San Francisco, but it was the record release party at popscene for local noise-poppers Stratford 4 and their fans weren't going to let a veritable typhoon keep them away. The downpour was about the only damper on the night, as the San Franciscan quartet played a flawless 35-minute set, unleashing six new tracks from their sophomore release, Love & Distortion, out this week on Jetset. It was the perfect taster for the album and one that left the crowd satiated, but fiending for the something more that only the entire album will provide.
As the two-boy, two-girl outfit worked through their new material, the crowd continued to mass, soaking in the white-noise wash and underlying groove of tracks including "The Simple Things Are Taking Over," "She Married The Birds," and "The Story Is Over." Wearing their influences on their sleeves, but reassembling them into something fresh and far from derivative, aspects of My Bloody Valentine, The Verve The Stone Roses and Jesus and Mary Chain are combined to form a cohesive new sound, full of mind-blowing guitar blasts over a booty-shaking backbone. The all-femme rhythm section of drummer Andrea Caturegli and bassist Sheetal Singh kept the grooves tight, while dueling guitarists Chris Streng and Jake Hosek bathed the room in effect pedal-laden bliss. As the skyscraping epic "Telephone" wound its way to a close, the crowd erupted and the band exited the stage with the warm glow that can only be gained by wowing the homefolks with brand-new jams that went over like old favorites. San Francisco has been dominated; can the rest of the US be far behind? Find out for yourself on their upcoming national tour with Pedro The Lion.