We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

The Strainge Case of Steve

by Rascal Reporters

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    This album includes a digital booklet with credits, art and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + digital album + streaming
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    There were only 100 of this CD release made world-wide!!

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Strainge Case of Steve via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

Papa Norco 04:58
Over and Out 03:05


The Strainge Case of Steve is the latest offering from the avant-garde progressive rock duo Rascal Reporters, currently comprised of Steve Kretzmer and James Strain. The album features 16 tracks of eclectic, inventive and adventurous music that showcases the Reporters’ compositional dexterity and idiosyncratic creativity.

The album heralds a new chapter of the Rascal Reporters' long and prolific career, which spans over four decades and (now) eight studio albums. The band was founded in 1974 by high-school friends Steve Gore and Steve Kretzmer in Oak Park, Michigan. Inspired by progressive rock giants like Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, Henry Cow and King Crimson - along with the then-burgeoning Rock-In-Opposition & Canterbury scenes in prog - they recorded hundreds of songs in their basement studio throughout the 70s and 80s using an array of instruments, tape recorders and synthesizers.

The Rascal Reporters developed a unique style that combined complex compositions, quirky melodies, odd time signatures, humorous lyrics and experimental sounds. They gained a cult following among deep-diving crate-digging progressive rock fans around the world for their originality and eccentricity.

The Strainge Case of Steve is their eighth studio album and heralds the full return of group founder Steve Kretzmer, who had taken a step back from composition after 1995’s Purple Entrapment. It is also their first to feature James Strain as a full-time member. Strain joined the band in 2019 and completed the group’s first new release in some years: Redux Vol. 1, followed by Vol. 2 in 2021, a semi-archival series which featured up-cycled versions of lost compositions with new arrangements and overdubs from Strain. The album was well-received by critics and fans alike for its fresh spin on the classic Reporters DNA. Strain shares writing, performing and production duties with Kretzmer on this new album.

The album was recorded between 2017 and 2023 at Kretzmer & Strain's home studios in Michigan, USA & Carlow, Ireland respectively. It features guest appearances from returning favourites and members of classic avant prog groups such as long time collaborator Dave Newhouse (The Muffins, Manna/Mirage) and Guy Segers (Univers Zero), along with members of some of today’s most exciting new groups such as Jessica Martin Maresco (Pili Coit, Le Grand Sbam) and Dario D'Allessando (Homunculus Res).


released July 28, 2023

‘Fat Delivered’ (Steve Kretzmer)
Steve Kretzmer: organ, electric piano
James Strain: bass, drums, lead guitar, melodica
Dave Newhouse: horns, woodwinds
Dario D’Allessandro: guitar

‘A Race Against Time’ (James Strain)
James Strain: bass, drums, guitars, piano, organ

‘Papa Norco’ (Steve Kretzmer / James Strain)
Steve Kretzmer: organ, electric piano, clavinet, piano, synths
James Strain: bass, drums, guitar, fake horns, synths
Dario D’Allessandro: additional synths

‘Beetle Borscht’ (James Strain)
James Strain: bass, drums, guitars, piano, organs, synths, electric piano

‘Over and Out’ (Steve Kretzmer)
Steve Kretzmer: piano, keyboards, synths
James Strain: fretless bass, drums

‘The Odor at Tavistock’ (James Strain)
James Strain: bass, drums, piano, organ, synths, sitar, programming

‘How Archontic the Ankle Biters’ (Steve Kretzmer / James Strain)
Steve Kretzmer: choir, synths, keyboards, bass synth, piano, programming, arpeggiators
James Strain: beats, fretless bass, drums, programming, guitars, synths, bass synth, samples, sound design

‘Lady and the Old Codger’ (Steve Kretzmer / Penelope Lovelace / James Strain)
Steve Kretzmer: concept
Penelope Lovelace: vocals, words
James Strain: bass, drums, organ, guitars, instrumental composition

‘Unknowable’ (Steve Kretzmer)
Steve Kretzmer: synthesizers
James Strain: bass, drums, guitars
Dave Newhouse: horns, woodwinds
Dario D’Allessandro: additional synths

‘Love is a Dead Smelly Fish’ (James Strain)
James Strain: fretless bass, drums, guitars, piano, organs, synthesizers
Dave Newhouse: saxophone

‘I Cries Crimes’ (Steve Kretzmer)
Steve Kretzmer: organ
Guy Segers: bass
Dave Newhouse: horns, woodwinds
Dario D’Allessandro: guitars, synths
Kimara Sajn: additional bass
James Strain: drums

‘Uh Oh (Lait Suspendu Fermenté)’ (James Strain / Jessica Martin Maresco)
James Strain: fretless bass, drums, synths, piano, electric piano, samples, bass synth
Jessica Martin Maresco: vocals, lyrics

‘Groom of the Stool’ (Steve Kretzmer)
Steve Kretzmer: keyboards, piano, synths, synth bass, sound fx
James Strain: fretless bass, drums, sound collage

‘Lurking in Shadow Fury’ (James Strain)
James Strain: bass, drums, guitars, organs, synths, keyboards, samples

‘Guns for Clones’ (James Strain)
James Strain: bass, drums, guitars, piano, keyboards, organ, synths, sitar, gamelan (gangsa), melodica, programming, 12-string acoustic guitar, fake horns

‘People Who Eat People’ (Steve Kretzmer)
Steve Kretzmer: piano, organs, keyboards, synths
James Strain: bass, drums, acoustic guitar, programming, samples

Produced by Rascal Reporters
Mixed, mastered & engineered by James Strain

All parts were recorded by the band members and guests in their own home studios
Additional guest parts composed or arranged by their respective performers

Song names by Steve Kretzmer, with the exception of ‘Lait Suspendu Fermenté’ by Jessica Martin Maresco

Album cover artwork by Dario D’Allessandro
Typography by James Strain

Booklet layout and design by James Strain
Booklet artwork created with the assistance of OpenAI DALL-E


all rights reserved



Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

contact / help

Contact Cuneiform Records

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Cuneiform Records recommends:

If you like The Strainge Case of Steve, you may also like: