You’ve GOT to Hear This: The Strypes – “Snapshot”

The StrypesReleased in America on March 18th, this album has already won over many in the UK, where it was released in early September, and was previewed by those who caught them supporting Arctic Monkeys on a recent tour.

A mix of covers and original songs, this talented quartet put a rock’n’roll spin on bluesy tunes, almost creating their very own genre in the process. At the age of just 16, lead singer Ross Farrelly sings about reeking of ‘sweat and teenage innocence’, a phrase perfectly describing the entire album.

Starting with a track about how Farrelly ‘could be your mystery man’ (Mystery Man), the bar is set high for the rest of the album high, and it most certainly lives up to the expectations. The second track – and first ever single – tells of how a young woman ‘knocks me to the ground’, despite the fact that she ‘never wears her hair up because she’s always dressing down’. Behind the voice are powerful riffs; whilst the title is spelt out (Blue Collar Jane), the bluesy bass melodies, played by Pete O’Hanlon, are clearly audible, allowing the talent of each member to ooze out and restore hope in modern teenage music. ‘She’s So Fine’ and ‘What a Shame’ are bursts of energy, causing listeners’ toes to tap along to the fast pace and astounding talent of such young musicians.

A personal favourite from Snapshot is ‘Angel Eyes’, the only slower number on the record. Despite being significantly slow compared to the others, it does not lower the standard of the album; in fact, it improves it. It shows that these four Irish lads can play, really play. The entire song is darker than the others, and the lyrics are cleverly crafted to match the darkness of the music. Farrelly sings about how dangerous somebody appears to be, yet you fall for them anyway, a feeling familiar with those his age. Cleverly saying about being a ‘bad guy’, but he ‘ain’t no Lee Van Cleef’, this tune is absolute proof as to why the likes of Elton John, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller are all fans.

Their ability to make songs their own seems to come naturally, as they transformed an incredibly well known Bo Diddley track (You Can’t Judge a Book by The Cover) into a powerful Rock’N’Roll song, something many people in the past have attempted, but never had the charisma to achieve.

Woven perfectly with powerful guitar riffs by the insanely talented Josh McClorey, effective bass riffs by can be heard, adding even more depth to the music. Held together by the steady drum beats by Evan Walsh running in the background, this band work flawlessly together. Even the previously uncool harmonica is featured throughout the album.

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Charlottee Anderson | @charrrr638

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