Sarandon’s new album, Sarandon’s Age of Reason, is due out later this month on Odd Box (in the UK) and Slumberland (in the US.) A striking arrangement of wiry, agressive pop and spoken word pieces, Sarandon’s Age of Reason is a concept album about a frustrated everyman determined to make a change in his life. Big Trev, the album’s narrator, voiced by The Shend, speaks to the listener through a series of vignettes, laying out his plan. The Shend’s voice, coupled with the eerie carnivalesque sounds that score his spoken word pieces, gives the album a sinister undercurrent that builds in time with Trev’s growing dissatisfaction.
Musically, I’m struck by just how much some of the songs on Sarandon’s Age of Reason remind me of Minutemen’s jittery, dissonant California hardcore. Songs like “Feeling Happier” and “Do the Dance” wouldn’t feel too out of place on an album like Double Nickles on the Dime. Like Minutmen, Sarandon is a trio whose music is sonically aggressive (yet undeniably hooky), lyrically and conceptually sophisticated, and carried by strong, inventive basslines.
For me, an album like Sarandon’s Age of Reason is a strong reminder of how diverse indie pop is as a genre. Labels like Odd Box continue to release albums that challenge and reward listeners by pushing pop boundaries. Sarandon’s latest works both within and around pop conventions to score an unsettling story that stays with you long after the album’s last song has finished.
You can stream the track “Big Trev” and pre-order the album from Odd Box here (pre-order is not yet up, but will be soon.) The album will be available on CD, LP (colored vinyl), and as a digital download. Slumberland and Odd Box will each be using different artwork for the album sleeve. Revolutions Brewing Co. in West Yorkshire will be releasing a limited edition Age of Reason microbrew to accompany the album’s release. You can read more about Sarandon on their official site.