The Strypes: Snapshot

The StrypesThe Strypes
(Virgin EMI Records)

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Let’s get this out of the way: The Strypes are young. The Irish teenagers have garnered a lot of attention for their ages, particularly since they are younger than most popular boy bands. However, The Strypes are an actual band, and quite simply, they know their shit. Take the sound of the less trippy songs on The Beatles’ White album, add the energy of The Libertines, and generously top that with blues harmonica: that’s Snapshot.

Legendary producer Chris Thomas was the perfect fit to take the helm of the band’s debut LP, having previously worked with acts like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and The Sex Pistols. The record is filled with rock frenzy, desperate blues, and skill far beyond the band’s collective years. This is more Howlin’ Wolf than One Direction.

What stands out about The Strypes is their lyrics. They focus on romance as other bands do, but the playful approach to talking about courtship reminds me of early Beatles material. Take “She’s So Fine” for instance: “She doesn’t like to talk, but she likes to dance all night/She doesn’t like the dark, but she likes it when I turn out the light.” Likewise, “Angel Eyes” sounds like it could have been written decades ago. “Blue Collar Jane” is a raucous sing along and well-timed given the current state of the economy.

There’s no shortage of complicated guitar solos on this album, though you can’t help but forgive the boys for showing off a bit because they sound so good. If I could make one change to Snapshot, I’d replace the covers with more original material. This is clearly a band with the talent, drive, and fun to go far.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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