The Stripminers are an American rock and roll band from Los Angeles, California.
Co-founded in 2010 by Brett Anderson of The Donnas and Paul Stinson of The Radishes, the band soon added drummer D.J. Bonebrake of X and veteran bassist Brett Simons (Dwight Yoakam, Melissa Etheridge, Brian Wilson, among many others) as its rock solid rhythm section.
With producer and guitarist Scrote, the band immersed itself in the studio to record two full-length albums, “Movies” and “Frail Hope Ranch,” both of which were released on vinyl through Stinson’s independent label, Standoffish Productions, in 2012.
The albums were well received critically, and after touring with the addition of singer and multi-instrumentalist Holland Greco (now a permanent member), the band returned to the studio in 2013 to begin work on its third album, “Broken Filters.”
“Broken Filters” represents a significant progression for the band, both in musical and sonic approach and writing style. As opposed to the first two albums, which were written primarily by Stinson and Anderson, the new album was written by the band as a whole, at Simons’ studio in downtown Los Angeles. Perhaps to everyone’s surprise, the songs came quickly and naturally. “Not having written in a group setting before, I didn’t know exactly what to expect,” says Stinson. “But it was amazing how smoothly everything came together. Someone would throw out a riff, DJ would kick in a beat, and Brett A would immediately have lyrics and a melody.” Within just a few months, the band had an entire new album’s worth of songs. Because of the group approach, the musical influences also expanded, adding perhaps unexpected touches of Devo, Tame Impala, and even Fleetwood Mac to the group’s signature “punk Americana” sound.
With the addition of guitarist Adam Zimmon, the band recorded basic tracks for the new record at Stagg Street Studios, in Van Nuys, in 2014, with engineer Chris Steffen. Additional recording and editing was then done at Simons’ studio, with Simons also eventually – and very successfully – taking over the producer role on the album. Because of various members’ touring schedules, the process happened at a somewhat leisurely pace, but by mid-2015 the album was ready for mixing by John Paterno, and was then mastered by Gavin Lurssen.
Longtime fans of The Stripminers are going to find plenty to love in the new album, including haunting melodies, dark lyrical content, and snarling punk moments. In “Meet My Maker (With My Best Dress On),” Anderson and Stinson exchange verses about ghosts, memories, and – of course – mortality, while the band provides soaring, almost orchestral, accompaniment and choral-like background vocals. “Pour Out Your Heart” is a drop-dead gorgeous ballad sung alone by Anderson with sparse arrangement and a palpable aural space, as if performed in an empty cathedral. “Asphalt Kiss” and “Made It Out Alive” are raw, super-charged rockers, recalling the energy and attack of “No Luck” and “You Make Dyin’ Fun” from the band’s first album.
Other tracks spread out and bloom in beautiful new ways that will attract both rock and pop music fans across a variety of genres. “Ghetto Birds,” the album’s opener, is a bouncy piece of almost New Wave-ish ear candy, with a guitar hook that sticks in your head for days. “Angels/Devils,” beautifully sung by Greco, sounds like it was lifted straight out of a sci-fi horse opera, with spaghetti Western guitars, squirrely theremin, and Oingo Boingo-esque backing vocals. “Red Flags” throws a straight up California country vibe on top of a beat and guitar riff that sounds like it could have been lifted straight out of a Fleetwood Mac session, if they had recorded with Gram Parsons.
Without exaggerating, it’s safe to say that “Broken Filters” has something to please almost everyone. It’s upbeat yet thoughtful, raw and energetic but also beautiful and slow, completely modern but also timeless.
The Stripminers’s playlists