At first sight, these guys look like trendsetters, with Beatles-like costumes, mushroom-head hairstyles and, of course, the obligatory sunglasses. They also have prominent fans, like the Who’s Roger Daltrey and the Gallagher brothers — everything you need to be called cool. In keeping, the Strypes (who hail from Cavan, Ireland) saw their debut arrive on a major level. It moved quickly, and their concerts were sold out in no time.
Yet, with this much hype, you have to wonder if you’ll even remember who they were in a few years. The music bears that out. From the opening track “Mystery Man” to “Perfect Storm” and “Blue Collar Jane,” the variety is negligible. Everything is quick, short and loud. The guitars are noisy, there are driving drums, and a harmonica is also in the game. Add to that casual singing, and we have the perfect mix for a trendy rock band.
But haven’t we heard all of this before? Yes, about 1,000 times. Have there been cases of better execution? Yes, and no. As the fathers of the rock revival, the Strokes were clearly better, but today they are on a totally different trip. Then there are the Datsuns, who were forgotten after their first album. The Strypes pay respect throughout to those kind of heroes, writing songs with lots of energy.
In fact, hardly a song lasts more than three minutes, oftentimes making the lyrics all but irrelevent. A closer listen reveals the themes to be about women, the proud manhood, pubs, partying, blah blah blah, etc. As you can imagine, their concerts are energetic: Everything what sounds a bit harmless on the record becomes a bubbling volcano in the live setting. Still, in the end, the Strypes are a good band with a good album — no more no less.
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