The Strypes: Snapshot

More than just a throwback, The Strypes breath new life into gritty blues rock of the late 60’s.

I have to say, I didn’t see this one coming. I half expected a 90’s grunge revival and I had given up on an 80’s new wave comeback. Come on, a flashback to the 60’s… hasn’t that been done already? Maybe so, but not with the fury and authenticity of The Strypes. My first inclination is to dismiss this band as another boy band from the UK. They are barely old enough to enter the pubs, with the oldest being 18, and they have the looks that come across as more “boy band” than rock band. Pre-fab, maybe, but closer to the Beatles than One Direction.

While the debut album Snapshot sounds as if it was born in 1964, it actually borrows more from the gritty rhythm and blues of early 70’s Dr Feelgood, the pub rock of Rockpile or blues of the Yardbirds. The record kicks off with a dynamite barn burner called “Mystery Man” a tune that introduces vocalist Ross Farrelly aggressive “attack the mic” vocal style. This song unleashes an energetic string of party songs that don’t let up until the closing track “Rollin and Tumblin”.

Standout tracks on this album are “Blue Collar Jane”, “What The People Don’t See” and “Heart Of The City” all of which where featured on their debut EP. This is not to say the other 11 songs are filler, that is definitely not the case. With killer guitar licks, rippin’ harmonica and gritty vocals, Strypes takes the listener on a retro-fueled journey loaded with powerful original blues-rock tracks.

Let the haters, hate. After seeing this band live, I’m convinced they are the real deal. These kids are talented, they play their instruments and do so with a conviction and ability beyond their ages. Snapshot is not only a great record, it could be the catalyst that introduces a new generation to hard driving blues rock. All that said, the pessimist in me continues ¬†asking, “where do they go from here.”

3.5 Sheep

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