Public Strain

Flemish Eye Records
Release date
24 Aug 2010
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Can't You See 3:40 33,807
2 Heat Distraction 4:04 36,645
3 Narrow With The Hall free download 2:36 37,605
4 Penal Colony 2:38 29,890
5 Bells 3:21 28,169
6 China Steps 4:20 28,258
7 Untogether 3:08 26,182
8 Drag Open 4:51 24,250
9 Locust Valley 4:13 26,738
10 Venice Lockjaw 2:47 22,894
11 Eyesore free download 6:23 43,580

About this album

On their debut self-titled album, Women embraced sonic brashness that deeper examination revealed to be tinted with sly pop melody. With Public Strain the band honed a sound truthful to that reverb drenched noise while allowing the pop sensibilities to surface into clearer focus.

From the opening strains of “Can’t You See” it’s clear that the album is far more than just a continuation of their debut. Resting upon a plodding bass line, deadpan vocal delivery, and bowed guitars and cello, this moody, nocturnal ballad opens the album on a dark note – one that is quickly countered by “Heat Distraction”, a jigsaw of bright guitar phrases and winding time signatures. This exact balance of delicate and dense is a pervasive thread throughout the album, reflecting the contradiction of the band’s environment buried in urban sprawl framed by prairie landscape.

Whether twisting through the urgent krautrock of “Locust Valley”, an exercise of harmony through simplicity, or climaxing with the bittersweet melody of “Eyesore”, the album somehow builds luminous contrast out of a palette of grays.

In places claustrophobic, conjuring walking dreams of sexual anguish and general decay, elsewhere soaring with vintage guitar tones and vocal melodies or collapsing into swirling, mesmerizing swells, Public Strain cycles through insomnia, paranoia, resignation and euphoria, to capture a band with an undeniable voice coming into full awareness of their craft.

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  • BMDrummer53


    3 Feb 1:50am Reply
  • cedarpoint13

    one of the more notable jumps in quality between a first and second album over the last decade

    25 Dec 2014 Reply
  • samjklage

    my favorite album of all time. Still floors me everytime I listen to it

    5 Jan 2014 Reply
  • noseforsharpies

    Very dense, very desolate, but very beautiful. It's like a depressed, alcoholic version of shoegaze.

    26 Nov 2013 Reply
  • soxinthebox

    One of my favourite albums so far.

    4 Jul 2013 Reply
  • JazzyUh_

    glenn brancaa

    4 Jun 2013 Reply
  • JonnyKim

    Public Strain is going to be a classic for future generations.

    6 Mar 2013 Reply
  • brother_james

    One of my fav albums. Ever.

    3 Feb 2013 Reply
  • vtsl

    this was a damn good album. Wish more albums like this.

    22 Jul 2012 Reply
  • itconsumesme

    easily one of my favorite albums. hard-pressed to find a more melancholic album.

    10 Jun 2012 Reply
  • giveconnorhugs


    9 Mar 2012 Reply
  • jinofcoolnes

    noise rock.

    30 Jan 2012 Reply
  • doobs1012

    what an underrated alboom

    26 Jan 2012 Reply
  • 2ool

    fall and winter album. best of 2010, too.

    18 Sep 2011 Reply
  • LockeColeX

    I was thinking about that just yesterday, but when I first heard this album last summer my favorite thing to do was to listen to it right around dusk in some woods. I highly recommend this.

    24 Aug 2011 Reply
  • jackw386

    It feels weird listening to this album not in the middle of winter. It's still amazing though.

    15 Jun 2011 Reply

    Great album, I hear quite a bit of Sonic Youth influence on most tracks.

    17 Apr 2011 Reply

    one of the finest "canadian" albums ever produced.... i don't say that lightly! the only better one that comes to mind is "simply saucer - cyborgs revisited" and that was released to zero acclaim in like 1974!

    31 Dec 2010 Reply
  • melting_window

    I just loved this album from my first listen and throughout the year I kept coming back to it. It reminds me of a couple of bands I love but it carves its own nook into my brain.

    22 Dec 2010 Reply
  • PseudoHaptic

    A very fine release.

    21 Dec 2010 Reply
  • All 37 shouts

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