Modern-day blues isn’t exactly a haven for innovation, and most of the time, it doesn’t need to be. It’s tough enough for true blues groups to survive in the contemporary era, so maybe it’s unreasonable to expect innovation from journeymen rockers like Scrapomatic. On their fourth album, I’m a Stranger and I Love the Night, the Minneapolis-bred blues duo deliver 12 solid, if unremarkable, blues-rock tracks that would make for satisfying filler on your local classic-rock radio station.
Vocalist Mike Mattison has a satisfying growl, most notably on “Night Trains, Distant Whistles”, and the licks are suitably funky, but the slower moments drag down the entire album. “Don’t Fall Apart on Me Baby” is simply unnecessary and “I Surrender” has potential that never quite delivers. Sure, it all sounds slightly weary, and for these boys that’s a plus. But a hint of life, of spontaneity, wouldn’t face any complaints.