Johnny Stranger Look Back on a Tumultuous Moment with Sixth Album “Mechanical Clouds”

Johnny Stranger

The wait is over and Los Angeles-based rockers Johnny Stranger have unveiled their sixth studio album Mechanical Clouds. Led by singer/songwriter Peter Anthony under an ever-shifting lineup of talented bandmates, their newest collection of songs tracks a highly tumultuous and tentative period in the band’s life. One that follows two separate moves across the country that forced Anthony to start from scratch, shelve old music (before he began receiving piles of fan letters asking where they could listen to it), and pull Johnny Stranger back together for a reinvention on the west coast. Mechanical Clouds though hones in on their first move — from their home in Washington state to Boston — and the gloomy isolation that followed.

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But despite the bleakness (and freezing winters) the album is meant to be a bittersweet ode to the band’s time in Boston. On the album’s opener “Eulogy,” Anthony dives off the precipice of the monumental change such a move can have, hinging it all on their shuddering rock anthemics. While songs like the blistering shredder “January Knives” and “Bones (Bury Me Deeply & Sweetly)” wrestle intimately with the chaotic ways that change revealed itself. The crucible of starting fresh and alone in a new city took its toll on Anthony — but he’s called it essential to his music and personal journey.

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On the cascading riffs and delicate interludes of “Ten Thousand Arrows,” he struggles to shoulder even love that’s been given so devotionally to him (“I don’t want to weigh you down with my love,” he howls). Then there’s the heady, tempestuous grit of “Sail Me Thru a Storm,” a wearied anthem for life’s most brutalizing moments. While on the triumphant “The Art of Saying Goodbye,” Anthony makes the pledge to end his streak of goodbyes and flights, opting to set down roots somewhere he won’t feel so cut off. And on its final track, the tenderly heart-wrenching “Radiant,” he offers up some of his most disarming and beautiful poetics yet, tucked as they are between the song’s soft acoustics and an electrifying guitar solo.

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With the release of Mechanical Clouds, Johnny Stranger is already swiftly onto their next project, clearly invigorated by the prospect of not having to uproot again. With plans to release more music — hinting that both albums seven and eight are on the way, not to mention goals of creating a baker’s dozen of albums in the future — it’s clear Anthony has finally solid ground from which to usher forth the next era of Johnny Stranger music from.

Visit Johnny Stranger on their website, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Words by Steven Ward

Listen to Mechanical Clouds the new album from Johnny Stranger below!

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