Template1Paradise Runs Deeper, the debut full-length record by Tim Muddiman and The Strange, is an impressive construct of alternative rock songs that have the depth and maturity of a classic 90s band just discovered. This should come as no surprise; Muddiman has earned plenty of cred as the exceptional guitarist for Gary Numan’s band as well as Pop Will Eat Itself. What is a nice revelation however, is the obvious talent he exhibits as a vocalist.

The bluesy pacing of the music throughout Paradise Runs Deeper is consistent. You won’t find any real shredders here, with the exception of “Oversea-Underworld” that ignites 30-seconds in, but they aren’t necessary. The guitar playing is tight with just the right hint of early Nine Inch Nails industrial sludginess (“Your Drugs”), but the influence of Gary Numan is injected throughout this album too, and perhaps even a dash of Depeche Mode. That’s not to say this is a synth album in any way shape or form, it’s all rock and roll, but the chord structuring and use of reverb throughout, notable in “Wildwood Stone”, give it an electronic vibe that really works.  This is about as solid of a let-it-play start to finish album debut that you’re gonna get.

Highlight tracks include the single “Glass Queen”, The Cure’s “Killing An Arab” invoking intro of “Rolling Stones”, and head-bopper “Bullet Stroke”.

Dave MacIntyre