Slovenian band STRAY TRAIN was formed in 2015, initially as a coming together of fairly seasoned musicians with the aim of playing blues rock cover material, but a venture that quickly and unexpectedly became a proper band with original material to record and perform. Their debut album was released in 2016, and at the tail end of November 2017 their sophomore production “Blues From Hell” is scheduled for release through German venture Service for Artist Owned Labels, aka SAOL.
Stray Train describe themselves as a heavy blues rock band, which is probably as good a description as anything else. Personally I’d go for blues oriented hard rock or something similar, or that old cliche blues based hard rock. They reside within the fairly narrow confines of those descriptions, and my impression is that they take inspirations not solely from the vintage 70’s bands of this kind, but also from bands active at a somewhat more recent time period.
By and large I’d describe Stray Train as a band that takes on a distinctly US sounding variety of blues based hard rock. Without being even remotely close to an expert in such matters, there’s just something about the arrangements and instrumentation that gives me those vibes. That their material is fairly smooth and radio friendly is probably an aspect of that as well. That they feature a token track that, at least initially, isn’t too far removed from the likes of Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive another one of those details that gives me a strong association towards the US blues based hard rock scene and sound.
Stray Train do incorporate a few other aspects of this sound style though, as there are a couple of tracks here that should sound subtly familiar to fans of good, old Led Zeppelin, and some details here and there where organ and guitars are combined in a manner not too far removed from the likes of, say, Deep Purple. Otherwise I note that the band is tight with impressive musicians on all posts. Up to and including a powerful lead vocalist with a fine voice control.
Stray Train doesn’t come across as a band that is out to break down any boundaries. They know what they want to accomplish, and do so very well throughout. This is, as the band describes it themselves, honest heavy blues rock. If you tend to enjoy music described in such a manner, Stray Train is a quality act in that field that merits an inspection.
My rating: 8/10
Electrified // Heading for the Sun // Days Gone // Emona // Mad Machine // Blues From Hell // House of cards // Love Is Just a Breath Away // My Baby’s Ride // Give It Away // No Easy // Miracle