Snapshot – The Strypes
Released 9th September on Virgin EMI
Rhythm and Blues/ Rock/ Pop
The debut album from Irish retro-rock/revival band The Strypes is a much welcome injection of raw Beatles inflected rhythm and blues rock and roll with a nod towards the punk sensibility of bands like The Saints. Really, it was a pleasure to be hit with this unexpected burst of fun and energy in a year that seems to be taking itself altogether too seriously.
The guitars are loud and grungy with a solid base of blues competence, the vocals are full of force even if they don’t wow, and the drums and bass throb and pound with such sex and charisma that it’s hard not to fall straight into the chasm of groove. It’s just as musically exciting as it is catchy, which means that I don’t have to be annoyed at having these tracks stuck in my head for the next couple of weeks.
Finally a band that doesn’t mind playing rock music. Positively charming, would recommend.
NOTE: I must revisit this one and put a full review together.
NOTABLE CUTS: Mystery Man/ She’s So Fine/ Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover/ Hometown Girls/ Heart Of The City
TRASH: What A Shame (not actually bad, but doesn’t really meet the bar of the other cuts)
Loud Like Love – Placebo
Released 16th September on Universal
Well, the boys from Placebo are back with yet another album that sounds a whole lot like all of the others. Perhaps there’s a little more good humour and self-awareness on this one than previous, but there’s still Brain Molko’s waist-deep wallowing in self-pity and angst ridden teenage poetry to deal with.
Most of the beats work well and a few of the tracks have a good solid base of rock and roll fun, but apart from the occasional bite of irony and wit the lyrics drag this record down into a melodramatic tedium.
NOTABLE CUTS: Too Many Friends/ Rob The Bank/ Purify
TRASH: A Million Little Pieces/ The Beginning Of The End/ Bosco/ Exit Wounds
8:18 – The Devil Wears Prada
Released 17th September on Roadruner
The fifth studio album from ridiculously named American metal band The Devil Wears Prada is nicely head-banging oriented piece of work. All of the tracks are a reasonable length (rare for a metal album) and they have a nice mixture of riffs scattered throughout the cuts to keep everything from running to obviously into monotony. I would have liked these solid riffs to brought to the fore more often however, as the band tends to favour the oppressive wall of noise technique for their guitar lines a little too often my tastes.
On the downside the vocals (while usually powerful) sometimes dissolve into the painful squawk of a parrot with throat cancer and the electronic studio effects (while sometimes used to great benefit) more often than not became laughably obvious and cheesy. Also the lyrics, when intelligible, are just obnoxious.
On the whole I’d have to say that 8:18 is solid, but bland.
NOTABLE CUTS: Gloom/ Sailor’s Prayer/ Home For Grave
TRASH: War/ 8:18/ Care More/ Martyrs/ Black & Blue/ Number Eleven
- The Strypes – Live In London (everyrecordtellsastory.com)
- Music News | The Strypes new video (thejournalist.ie)
- The Strypes, interview (telegraph.co.uk)
- Releases Of September (In Brief) (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)
- YouTube and Google team up with Placebo for global streaming show (musicweek.com)
- Placebo – Loud Like Love (turnupthedial.wordpress.com)
- The Strypes: Snapshot – review (theguardian.com)