Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Strypes - Snapshot

Who doesn’t love a good cover band. I’m not talking about your perplexingly common Stereophonies or Kaiser Thiefs or other tumor inducing pun name, but rather the science of taking an already established track an reinvigorating it in such a manner it renders the illusion that one is listening to the freshest new beats on the scene. The Strypes do this with great finesse.
Hailing from the quaint country town of Cavan, Ireland this quartet totals with a mean age of 16. The Strypes have received appraisment from some of the gargantuan of the music scene (Dave Grohl anyone?) from renewing early 70s pub rock and blues rock in the form of Bo Diddly and Beatles covers. Appreciation for such resonant music at a young age is a rare sight, or sound as it were, however, does The Strypes’ ability to regurgitate rockabilly favorites match their songwriting and performance of their home-produced tracks? I think it does.

Opening track Mystery Man is fast paced, has a punchy chorus and enough overdrive to covet the lack of chest hair this collective possesses. Although not spectacular by any stretch the lyrical content is suitably concrete for the garage-punk attitude this quartet is sporting. Credit must be given where credit is due and in this case what makes the Strypes as electrifying as they appear to be is the result of the insatiable Josh McClorey ripping lead guitar; credit dued. Let’s face the facts, although indulgent and often over flowery guitar solos are cool and McClorey delivers the cool. The roaring single Blue Collar Jane and I Can Tell scream a young Jimmy Page as McClorey bursts through pinch harmonics and scale runs effortlessly whereas the slow-jam Angel Eyes showcases a more feel-based and melodic side to his playing; comparable to Hendrix which, at this age especially, is an incredible feat.

I was trying to word this paragraph in a formally witty but informative format however I feel the appropriation dictates I be honest. The track Perfect Storm might as well be a Rolling Stones track. It possesses the gruff vocals and swagger from a charismatic frontman as well as the fat distorted riff sounding like a mix of Jumping Jack Flash and Start Me Up, vintage stuff.

Closing track Rollin’ and Tumblin’ was an apt and befitting experience. When listening to music so laced with ancient, relative to me anyway, influences it is not unexpected to feel nostalgic even over tracks I listened to a mere 20 minutes ago. This instrumental conjured my thoughts of Snapshot together and smacked a bow on them. What I love about this record is exactly what I felt could be improved about it. The riffs are tight, the lyrics are writhed with wit and the rhythm sections are flawless, but that’s it. No bells, whistles or other popular sayings. Just good solid rock songs.

Although one dimensional at times Snapshot is a sterling and mature debut from a band who know how to write punchy and ferocious tracks and at such a young age. At 16 I was not resurfacing classic rock’n’roll into the alternative scene in a ecstatic and prolific manner. I was sitting in a local park and drinking vodka out of lucozade bottles, oh wasted youth.

Listen here: The Strypes – Snapshot 

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