Steve J. Allen releases trippy new single “Other World”

Many fans of Allen’s music think of him as a punk rocker, and there’s good reason for that. Wreck The Place, his debut, was ferociously heady, intelligent, and bracing. It hardly lets up from its first roaring note to its last cymbal crash. His new album, Contrast, retains that intensity but varies its expression. It turns out that Allen is just as fierce and mesmerizing with an acoustic guitar in his hands as he is when he’s plugged in and turned up. “Other World,” co-written with Matt Hardouin from the band Fallan, is built on an acoustic six-string groove — one that only seems simple and unadorned until you examine it closely. There’s an undercurrent of menace in the song, a creeping feeling of psychological unrest, and the hiss of the sands in the hourglass running out. 

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