maandag 4 november 2013

Snapshot. The Strypes

Whoa! Talking about a whole shot of energy in abundance. Snapshot delivers just that. A whole bunch of Nederbiet and garagerock is thrown over me at first listen. Not since the debut album of The Loved Ones, 'The price for love', have been so pleasantly surprised by an up tempo, vile and pure rocking mix of rhythm & blues, rock (and roll) and garage, combined with the energy pumped out of 'King Kong', the fantastic (blues) album of The Red Devils. The Strypes play all this in such a convincing way that rock and roll staple 'You can't judge a book by looking at the cover' is just one of the songs on Snapshot. That is probably the best compliment The Strypes can get.

The Strypes is a teenage outfit from Ireland. Formed in 2008 consisting of Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O'Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums). Judging from their reported ages, they started out as kids and still they are not allowed to buy a beer in most countries. In a day and age that kids like dance hits, I can only wonder where the love for 1950s and 60s rock and roll comes from.

Snapshot offers one thing: pure musical energy. The Strypes go for it from the very intro. The feedbacking guitars change into an up tempo rocker that sets the standard for Snapshot. The Strypes are as wild as Q65, rocks as hard as The Outsiders, riff like Them or The Yardbirds. If it takes handclaps to add to the fun, you will hear just that. 'Blue collar Jane' has them in the chorus and it's the finishing touch to a raucous song. Ross Farelly has the spunk of Wally Tax and the power of the young Roger Daltrey. The singing is so full of confidence, with the right edge to his voice, that gives the singing that extra harshness. Like proving that he means it. The job is done by the whole band so well, that I can only hope that healthwise the band escape the pitfalls many a 60s musician fell in.

The extra weapon of The Strypes is a mean harmonica played as a lead instrument or accompaniment. The harmonica is played in a great, wild style. Sucking all the air in and spatting it out again. The guitar playing of Josh McClorey is nearing the style of Dave Gonzales of The Paladins. With the songs to boot, something which is not always the case with The Paladins. A trick that singer Farelly does a few times on Snapshot, holding the notes, creating this little tension between singing and playing, is done so well. Just this makes listening to Snapshot so much fun.

A last weapon The Strypes have is punk. 'Heart of the city' could have been played in 1977, if McClorey cut down a bit on the solos. The two guitar chords responding to each last word of a sentence emulate everything punk was at its best. Everyone who listens well knows that 1977 punk was nothing else then rock and roll played faster, louder, with a sloppy form of tightness.

Snapshot has me dancing through the kitchen while cooking. Makes me nod my head on an unexpected busride and makes my fingers dance this keyboard. Snapshot is as pure a shot of adrenaline as possible from a digital machine. Snapshot is balled energy. An album that makes it impossible to say that the band's energy on stage was not captured. To all appearances producer Chris Thomas managed to do just that. Roll on, brothers!


You can listen here to 'Blue collar Jane' here.

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