The Strypes – Snapshot
You’ve got to hand it to The Strypes – for a teenage four-piece straight out of Ireland their sound embodies a rock ‘n’ roll spirit that Chuck Berry would be proud of. Their first album Snapshot is produced by Chris Thomas (who has credits from The Beatles and the Sex Pistols under his belt) and as the title suggests, it’s a straightforward portrait of their musical influences.
The Strypes start as they mean to go on – the reverb-heavy intro to Mystery Man gives way to old school 60s rock, with shrieking electric guitar, bluesy harmonica and unrelenting drums. More of the same continues with Blue Collar Jane, the band’s first single, and She’s So Fine, which if anything is sure to inspire a hoard of pre-pubescents to take up the harmonica.
Snapshot is full of energy and irrepressible tempo; it’s a whirlwind from start to finish, but with little deviation in rhythm or space for reflection, there isn’t a stand-out song. Lead singer Ross Farrelly ploughs through the typical rock ‘n’ roll principles of love, women and anti-conformity with an accomplished arrangement that sounds far more mature than their years suggest.
Not that The Strypes are trying to deny their youth – in Hometown Girls Farrelly embraces it, singing “I reek of sweat and teenage innocence”. Nothing could be truer; even in the blues heavy Angel Eyes Farrelly is betrayed by his teenage voice, which cuts through the meaty guitar and sounds a little too clean-cut for the blues.
Influence is impossible to deny and The Strypes have laid theirs bare for all to see. Snapshot is a brave attempt at a rock ‘n’ roll revival, and the band has the potential to evolve into something great. There aren’t many bands of this ilk that are courageous enough to take a stab at a Bo Diddley cover (You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover), but age definitely comes before beauty when it comes to the blues – The Strypes just can’t quite match the legends they try so hard to emulate. But, having said that, who could?
Snapshot was released on 9th September 2013. For further information or to order the album visit the Strypes’ website here.
Watch the video for I Don’t Know What to Do with My Hands here: