Mar. 20, 2014

Strypes "Snapshot" CD Review

"His lyrics couldn't be fresher/They said he'd be a superstar/If he could handle the pressure/After they put it to paper/They took him to tea/And told him just a couple of changes/That they wanted to see."
(from "What a Shame")

"What a Shame" is by far the best song on Snapshot, the Strypes debut retro-hootenany effort. 

I saw the band live and loved their show. The energy was electric and the little girls dug the energy of this teenaged 2014-ish version of the Yardbirds. 

I see potential in their craftsmanship as writers. They really need to figure out who they are GOING to be in the future. I am a fan, but I am wary of the early one dimensional nature. This is a tough call for me, because I WANT them to be all that. I want them to be the second coming. The question is...The second coming of what? The Beatles? The Yardbirds? The Stones?

This debut CD is solid. It is rockin' throughout. They cover Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book By Looking At The Cover," which is great, but NOT in the league of the Plimsouls live version from 30 years ago. They cover Nick Lowe's "Heart of the City," a far cry from the live Elvis Costello version I have on a bootleg from 36 years ago.

Their versions are fine, but serve as a reminder to a record nerd like me that there is a lot more to recording or performing songs by your heros than the mere fact that YOU are doing it. 

I think Josh McLorey has a ton of potential as a lead vocalist, but he is NOT in Elvis Costello or Peter Case's league YET. He has a monotonish voice much like Keith Relf, the late Yardbirds singer. McLorey doesn't have a distinct voice just yet.

These kids have all the musical chops in the world. It is no mistake that Paul Weller and Jeff Beck, and their manager Elton John (his company) are mentors and followers of the band. The live show alone is enough to generate excitement.

This CD does NOT generate that type of excitement for me after several listenings.

I love "What a Shame," the one song with an interesting point of view. The McLorey-penned tale of a record company sucking the life out of a young rocker is totallly worth downloading. 

I want to see that much writing depth throughout the next CD they deliver. The live show already delivers.

I am obviously being a tad hard on the lads.

Check out these two videos, before deciding on the entire CD.:

You Can't Judge a Book By Looking at the Cover (video)

What a Shame (video)