Public Strain succeeds in the sense that it manages to capture a profound feeling through all it's subtlety and you never quite figure it out what it is. In the culmination of fuzz and Flegel's reverberated vocals, are memories too blurry to recall, but that are still close to home.
With mutual traits of Sonic Youth and The Velvet Underground swimming in a haze of reverb, Calgary's Women deliver a kind of delicate aggression with Public Strain.rThe sparingly delivered vocals never take front-stage, with songs generally driven by guitar interplay. Rhythm section takes an atmospheric backseat, although it's a booming kick drum that really defines "China Steps". No one is showing off here, and carefully balanced tension and release form a cohesive body of work.rWith the M.I.A.'s and Kevin Drew's of the genre linking the mainstream so openly to indie music, claiming authenticity among the imitators is a hard thing to do. I mean, being 'indie' has less and less to do with its root word. So how does Public Strain avoid being lumped into heaps of other noise-pop indie records? Give it a spin, they aren't following trends. This beautifully bleak shoegaze album treats us to a well awaited shot of originality.