City Slang: Stroller Coaster Surfs through Ferndale

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Stroller Coaster – a youthful pop-punk band from Rochester. The members refer to themselves as punk, but John Brannon from Negative Approach / Easy Action wouldn’t have any of that. Nope, these guys have nothing in common with NA, the Stooges, the Pistols or the Clash. This is punk as defined by Vans shoes and fraternity houses. Smiles from ear to ear and not a sniff of nihilism

So what is it about them that is actually very appealing? At the New Way in Ferndale on Saturday night, in front of a crowd of 13, they smiled and riffed and bounced, and Goddammit I wanted to hate them. Thing is though, if you remove the “punk” weight from around their collective necks, Stroller Coaster are actually a fine fuckin’ pop-rock band.

They have a song where they sing about dancing like a robot, “Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction”, and another one about traveling forward in time which I think was called “2500 A.D.” but I may well be wrong. One of them has a straggly beard and they all look like they could still live at home with their parents.

There were two great moments during the show. One was when they attempted to play a surf tune but it turned into a rock jam, and the other when they pulled out a Theremin for a spacey solo.

Stroller Coaster might be the geekiest band in Metro Detroit. All those sci-fi songs and the Theramin – they seem to actually care very little about what is cool. That said, maybe they are punk after all.


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