Maniacal Canadian extremists STRAPPING YOUNG LAD have finalized the track listing for their highly anticipated new album, "Alien", now set for a March 22 release. The follow-up to the group's critically acclaimed 2003 release "SYL" was recorded at the Armoury and Greenhouse Studios (both in Vancouver) as well as in mainman Devin Townsend's studio in Maple Ridge (a suburb of Vancouver). A major U.S. tour is currently in the works for the spring; details will be announced soon.
Townsend checks in with the following update on the making of the new album: "The 'Alien' record was written in response to yet another year of more shit. Gene Hoglan (drums) and I found ourselves in Vancouver, broke, after a year of touring. One of the cool things about the touring was being on the road with MESHUGGAH, which made Gene and I want to freak out for ourselves in the same way they were doing. We had the benefit and disadvantage of being by ourselves while Byron (bass) and Jed (guitars) were off doing their individual things away from home. Gene and I rehearsed for months until we got into the Armoury Studios in late September, where Gene played all his parts in three days. Then we moved to Greenhouse Studios, where the guitars, bass and keys/samples were laid down. I did vocals in my basement, and the mix was done in Richmond, B.C., by Shaun Thingvold and mastered by Greg Reely.
"The record isn't about anything in particular; it's just a freak out. The idea is to have something cathartic to put on, and the title 'Alien' just seemed fitting. It has no meaning beyond that. Metal is our life; we are qualified to do little else and we can do crazy things with our instruments. We are too ugly to play pop, so we decided to fuck shit up again. This album seemed a good excuse to exercise full excess. When there is double kick, we make it super-fast and all the time. Same with anything — scream as high and as long as you can, then distort it and add echo, then put explosions behind it. The sky's the limit.
"The only theme worth mentioning on the record is that it starts bitter and ends 'resolved to be confused.' It's definitely metal and if you have any doubts, please listen to it first to see if it's something you would like. But know this: We live for this shit and it has never been about spandex, eyeliner, wigs and ironic DOKKEN shirts. It's about the crunch, the kick and the power. The new themes might be closer to more everyday topics than 'City', and you may or may not relate, but it really doesn't matter as long as you get our drift (...it's about unicorns and rainbows and stuff.) 'Alien' is just the next SYL record and the acoustic song is supposed to make you feel worse...not better. Unhealthy music for healthy minds."
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD will premiere material from "Alien" at the Century Family's inaugural Christmas BallS, taking place next Monday, Dec. 20 at Los Angeles' Key Club. The band will perform alongside Century Family artists DEATH ANGEL, NEBULA, IMPALED, and EYES OF FIRE. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster for the low price of $15.
"Alien" track listing:
06. We Ride
08. Two Weeks
11. Info Dump (Instrumental)