By Jim Briggs
Though hardly longer than an E.P., Back Pocket Memory’s Strangers is a hooky, relentless rocker.
There’s a rhythmic motif that carries cleverly throughout Back Pocket Memory’s latest release Strangers, the initial iteration of which appears in the first entrance of singer Chris Pennington in “Alacran,” then at the 1:53 mark in the same song, and again in the infectious chorus of “Bergerac.”
Strangers sometimes hints at a quest for real, human connection in the digital age, a search for the line between Facebook buddydom and true friendship.
This attention to detail speaks to the band’s forward-thinking songwriting ability and allows Strangers to hang together as an album, as opposed to a collection of songs.
BPM features two absurdly talented guitarists, Ian Felchlin and Eddie Rosales, who both do a lot of heavy lifting, often with a “split lead” approach to the music, as seen on the bridge of “I’m Your Huckleberry” for example. Rarely do Felchlin and Rosales just pound out chords, which makes those moments when they do all the more meaningful with rock-your-face-off energy supported by rock solid bassist Rob Gallagher and apparently 3-armed drummer Jason Montgomery.
While their influences will likely become obvious to even the most casual listener, BPM nevertheless represents a unique sound with a relevant message we can all relate to. In other words, they don’t just write songs about girls (though there is some of that, too).
My only real beef with Strangers is its length (or lack thereof). With eight tracks and a running time of 30:20, it doesn’t quite feel finished. Otherwise, it’s a quality record that rewards multiple spins.
The album “Strangers,” along with Back Pocket Memory T-shirts, can be purchased online at
Also, the album is available on iTunes, Napster, Amazon, Shockhound, and Zune.