The band Stranger has been making musical waves for reggae-rock fans in San Diego for more than 10 years.
On Saturday, the band, touring behind its first LP, World Underground, will perform Sept. 24 at Sound Wave in Mission Beach.
Combing reggae, rock and a dash of jazz, Stranger’s music doesn’t have the typical SoCal reggae-rock sound synonymous with the likes of Sublime and other reggae fusion bands. Instead, Strangers’ sound reflects experienced musicianship that is addictive to the ear, while lead singer David Ornelas’ lovely voice accentuates the harmonies being created around him. Stranger are currently performing with seven members -- the others are Nolan Clark (drums), Daniel Montgomery (guitar), Ornelas, Arthur Tilley (bass), E.N Young (keyboards), Aaron Hudson (saxophone) and Don Carter (trombone).
Stranger’s Some Kinda Sign EP features popular hits, including “Skankin in the Dark” and my favorite track, “The Only One.” The LP World Underground, however, showcases a more mature and focused band utilizing stronger songwriting and a better infusion of its horn section. Check out the tracks “Hand in Hand,” “Body Connection” and the pre-released “My Angel” and you'll hear waht I mean. I’m also quite fond of “Gente,” which Ornelas sings in Spanish; it’s sultry and smooth, with the perfect amount of passion.
A live performance by Stranger is a must-see because of their passion, with Carter and Hudson demanding the crowd’s attention with their dancing brass instruments and dark sunglasses.