Strange Faces
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Strange Faces

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"Album Review"

Strange Faces

Strange Faces (self-released)

Strange Faces, though not technically a local act (the band’s three members all live in North Carolina), have deep roots in the Capital Region rock scene: Ryan Barnum, Art Pierce, and Mark Connor were three-fifths of well-loved local outfit the Wait for many years. This new band finds Barnum moving out of the sideman role he played in his former band, and his debut as a singer-songwriter is damn near a revelation. Dude can sing his ass off, it turns out, and the trio play together like they’ve been doing so for years and years (because they have). Emotional, keyboard-driven tracks like “Stare at the Sun” and “Aren’t You Proud” might have felt right at home on a Wait disc, but this is without question a guitar record. That point is driven home by “Back of Your Mind” and “Panic,” which mine the same straight-ahead hard-rock vibe that made superstars of the Foo Fighters (with whom the track “Learn to Fly” shares only its title). Produced and mixed by industry vet Eric Sarafin, Strange Faces is a national-level rock record.

—John Brodeur - Metroland Magazine - Albany, NY


Strange Faces (self titled) 2008



Strange Faces formed in January 2008 in Raleigh, NC. The band was a concept of Ryan Barnum's in 2007 that was realized when two of his former band mates and closest friends from NY moved to Raleigh to make music together once again. The lineup consists of Ryan Barnum (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards), Art Pierce (Drums), and Mark Connor (Bass, Vocals). The band shares a love for vintage instruments and classic recordings, and strive to keep their sound organic and true to their beliefs.

The band hooked up with Los Angeles producer Eric Sarafin (Ben Harper) and recorded their self titled debut album in the mountains of Asheville, NC at Echo Mountain. The entire album was recorded to 2" analog tape without the use of computers and digital editing, as to focus on getting the best performance out of the band, and capturing the moments as they were.

The band spent some time trying to find a name that fit them, eventually landing on Strange Faces. They feel that it fits them perfectly in that they have a different view of the world and often find good things hidden in unlikely places. So they settled on the name and asked their fans to get involved by taking pictures of faces they find in inanimate objects and sending them their way.

The three members of this powerful trio are quickly gaining recognition and notoriety in the Triangle with their accessible rock music, and highly energetic shows. You need to hear it to know what you're missing.