#53 – Little Black Backpack

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Artist – Stroke 9
Album – Nasty Little Thoughts
Year – 1999
Genre – Alt-Rock

Stroke 9 is one of those bands that’s a bit of an anomaly in the late 90’s. They weren’t post grunge, and they weren’t full on pop punk or alternative either. They just kind of fit in a kind of weird in between Alt-Rock category. But hey, that doesn’t mean they didn’t create some great songs. Little Black Backpack is the biggest hit single from these guys. The band’s legacy may not have stood the test of time, but this song deserves to.

The first thing that sticks out about this song is the rich, clean guitar tone that the band chooses for this track. It rings like a bell, and it sounds great over frontman Luke Esterkyn’s crystal clear and commanding vocals. The song almost has a bit of a country twang, which actually gives it a unique flavor and separates from a lot of other music of its time. The guitar and vocals are definitely the highlight of this track, with the other instruments taking a bit of a backseat, at least at the beginning.

This song has great singing and harmonies. During the verse it lays low, but as the prechorus kicks in, the guitar gets a little faster, and Esterkyn hits some really catchy falsetto notes. The whole melody of this section is catchy really, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. When the chorus hits, the song explodes. The song kicks into overdrive, and delivers its massively infectious chorus. Seriously, try getting this out of your head after listening a couple of times. You’ll be singing “I think I’m gonna bash his head in.” And then you’ll get stares. Probably very strange stares.

The song repeats this process, and at this point the song is so catchy and hooky that you absolutely want it to. The bridge is short and sweet, and there’s a nice little guitar solo before transitioning into one last soft prechorus and two more smashing choruses, the last of which features some nice fast guitar strumming and some nice vocal variation and a final ring out to this 90’s hidden treasure.

This song easily fits in with some of the modern rock hits of today, and is for anyone looking for a solid, super catchy and fun rock track. This is a song you sing into your hairbrush and just let go to. It’s certainly under appreciated, but hopefully I can shed some new light on this really great outing from Stroke 9.

Let me know what you thought of the song and review below in the comments!

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