I was lucky enough to discover The Strypes back in 2013 as I watched their electric performance on the John Peele stage at Glastonbury, sadly I watched from my living room and not from in the crowd. At the time I really admired them getting up onto a massive stage and playing music that really meant something to them, something they do generally feel passionate about. And I still admire them now in all fairness. I was wholeheartedly impressed by their performance due to them only being a few years older than me and how skilled they were. I was also pretty impressed by the genre of music they were playing too. It may be due to being from a small town but I don’t know many people forming a rhythm and blues/ new wave kinda bands anymore. So they really are refreshing to listen to and to see live.
The mighty Irish band consists of; Ross Farrelly (vocals), Josh McClorey (Guitar), Pete O’Hanlon (Bass) and Evan Walsh (drums). With their third album under their belt, ‘Spitting Image‘, is and still continues their sound whilst making it obvious that they still take inspiration from the likes of Elvis Castello, Dr. Feelgood, and The Rolling Stones. There are a few slower songs on this album compared to ‘Snapshot‘ and ‘Little Victories‘ but that definitely isn’t a bad thing. And with all this being said, I thought I’d share my top-five favourite songs off the album! (In no particular order).
1) ‘Easy Riding‘ kicks the album up a gear. Reminiscent of spending the summer with your friends, partying and all the things that come along with it. “Who needs a mind when the party is all day? Who needs a mind when your body is Grade A? Easy riding.” It’s easy to perceive this song as a social commentary on being young. You have people that rely on their good looks and great bodies, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. But this song made me think of people I know who go about life senselessly from one party to the next. Along with being ambitious and wanting to make something of your life, but not really being able to make the decisions to do so. But hey! Here’s to being young! Right?
2) ‘Behind Closed Doors‘ which is again, is an observation of modern life and the difficulty some of us have gone through or might be going through behind closed doors. (Nice one lads, I see what you did there). “You’d like to think you’d have kept in touch. Some consideration for someone you love, but you were never very into altruism.” The song still manages to keep the bands strong sound but definitely, highlights how this is a more of a mature album than the previous two. Which makes sense since they’re all young adults now.
3) ‘Mama Give Me Order‘ is a stripped down acoustic sung by Josh. Even from the first listen, you can tell how personal the song is. “Mama slap me silly, give me daggers for my sins. But comfort me in times of doubt, tell me I’m a good skin.” It’s easy to relate to lyrics like these because we’ve all made stupid mistakes, yet our families and friends are the ones who look over those and still accept us, it’s how they help keep us grounded when we need it most and understand us in a time of need.
4) ‘Garden of Eden‘ has to be, in my opinion, one of, if not the best song the band has produced. It’s layered with thick sound effects making me think that it belongs on the soundtrack to a gritty film. With the police sirens in the background, muffled echoes and white-noise alongside Ross’ eerie vocals, the song feels like it’s telling the story of someone who has risen to power and struggles with temptation throughout life, blinded by their power. “Carry yourself like you’re born to be King. Think I could make you a prince with the gifts I bring. High as a kite on the air, you’re breathing, but you can’t see the fruit for the trees. In the Garden of Eden.”
5) ‘Oh Cruel World‘ is the closing song on the album and it takes the listener straight back to their rhythm and blues inspiration from the previous albums with its slower start before kicking in for the final third of the song, the song becomes electric. “We used to shake and we’d do damage, now we shake hands cause it’s good manners.” With its harmonic solos and guitar solo, the build-up to the final third song is too good! I’m yet to see it live but you know that’ll be around the point the crowd starts to join in, it’s definitely going to be a crowd favourite!
If any of the songs I’ve written about have taken your fancy and you like the sound of them then you’re just in luck, cause they’re also on tour over September and October, including;
- Always The Sun Festival Stoke, 08.09.2017
- Sugarmill Stoke On Trent, 09.09.2017
- O2 Academy Birmingham, 04.10.2017
- Newcastle University SU Newcastle, 05.10.2017
- The Garage Glasgow, 06.10.2017
- Brudenell Social Club Leeds, 09.10.2017
- Thekla Bristol, 10.10.2017
- Concorde 2 Brighton, 11.10.2017
- Electric Brixton London, 12.10.2017
You can click HERE for all the links to tickets.
They’re also playing the likes of; ‘Neighbourhood Festival‘ in Manchester on the 7th of October and are supporting Liam Gallagher in his Dublin gig on the 29th of October, so if you get the chance, go see them!