Minneapolis has one of the most consistently brilliant, yet somehow overlooked music scenes out there. From Prince and Morris Day to The Replacements and Soul Asylum, this Midwest musical hub too often gets glossed over when people start ticking off the list of great U.S. scenes. Rank Strangers are just further proof that the City of Lakes can still pull its weight musically.
Signed to Grant Hart’s label (Hart of that other great Minneapolis band Husker Du), Rank Strangers plays classic garage rock, with just enough hints of lo-fi and punk rock to stand out from others in the genre. You can hear snatches of other bands throughout Ringtones, including Guided By Voices and The ‘Mats, but they still have a sound that’s largely their own. Tracks like “I See Motorcycles” and “The Box,” though lyrically cryptic are still relatable thanks to the timeless sound.
With a dozen tracks here, there are some that are certainly stronger than others, but overall another impressive outing from the band. (John B. Moore)