Monday, 3 September 2018
The Strypes - Snapshot (2013)
Released September 2013
Recorded in East Sussex
When this was released, in 2013, The Strypes were a bunch of Irish teenagers. Bringing together the hundred miles an hour r'n'b of Dr. Feelgood, the sixties blues rock of The Yardbirds and the verve of the early Rolling Stones, yes, they were highly derivative, but none the worse for it. Lots of established rock musicians fell over themselves to praise them and have them as a support act, and they certainly were reassuring in that they were teenagers and sixties-style r'n'b was their thing - not the "X Factor", being in a boyband or rap.
"Mystery Man" could have been from The Jam's "In The City" album, while "Blue Collar Jane" is so Dr. Feelgood it almost is them. "What The People Don't See", although drenched in wailing blues harmonica, has some Liam-Gallagher inspired sneering vocals and some of the sheer brash noise of early Oasis. "She's So Fine" crackles and burns in a similar fashion. The pace doesn't let up for a minute and "I Can Tell", of course, was popularised by Dr. Feelgood themselves.
"Angel Eyes" is a delicious slice of Southern swamp-style slow-burning blues with a great line "I ain't no bad guy, I ain't no Lee Van Cleef...". This is one of their own compositions and it ain't half bad. "Perfect Storm" is bassily and bluesily thumping. Yes there are a few rough edges to these recordings, but from a group of teenagers it is pretty damn good. "You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover" is an energetic cover of an old Willie Dixon song. The bass runs on this are frenetically impressive in that rubbery "19th Nervous Breakdown" way. "What A Shame" has a punky feel to it, almost Eddie & The Hot Rods meets The Buzzcocks.
"Hometown Girls" is even more frantic and full of punk energy, with slight echoes of early Stiff Little Fingers in places. Their cover of Nick Lowe's "Heart Of The City" is a raucous, energetic delight. The final track is a rousing cover of old blues classic, Muddy Waters' "Rollin' And Tumblin'". This has been a breakneck half hour or so of fun, which is probably about enough, but it certainly gets you feeling lively.