Release Date: March 4, 2016 (UK release was way back in 2014)
Shame on me once again, with a name such as they have I should have given more than a passing glance when I initially heard about this band and the quick attention they have received via opening slots for Motley Crue and The Rolling Stones, but I did not. I did give only a quick listen, however, the excuse I pick is I must have been in a poor mood, given that is an easy one to pick these days for me. Why am I in a poor mood? I am concerned about the lack of shows from bands I wish to see and hear (Volbeat, The Answer, Poison, Cinderella, Billy Idol, Michael Monroe, etc, etc, etc). Yes I know there are some great shows out there but a few in my own backyard would be nice too, heck even in the country I reside! So that results in a poor mood, I require a constant shot of live music. I did recently go see an electric show from Platinum Blonde & The Spoons (it was amazing alas not sure the readership here wants to know further).
So once again I apologize for not previewing this one earlier. I did pick it up, actually that should be clicked it up, just a few days ago and it is quite good as the English may say. The Struts image is strong and to my liking, I need rock stars not street punks on acid up there. Don’t try to tell me one of my faves in The Ramones (I don’t own a shirt, I own a shitload of records) are street punks…they were always rock stars to me. Anyway back to The Struts. The music is solid, driving, hard and melodic with amazing backing vocals that provide the strength to their best songs. Anyone who knows me understands my love for glam rock heavy on glam riffs rather than blues riffs. The Struts have it down pat for the most part. I could envision a tad more production taking them to the next level, perhaps not along the level compared to Def Leppard, whom they are oft compared to and regard as an influence, but a little more rather than less to me would be a perfect combination of raw and ready together.
Considering the band has been around 5 or so years, played some major shows in front of major crowds, I am surprised they have not broken through just yet. I hope they do now that they are based out of L.A. and have a major label releasing a full-length LP. Give them a listen if you like your rock n’ roll as described above. I also suggest watching their videos, I find I latch onto bands and their sound when their image latches into me! I know I sound so 1985! Luke commands the stage perfectly both on and off as a frontman, guitarist Adam is a strong lieutenant and bassist Jed seems to be having equal fun up there. Gethin lets his drumming speak for itself and it is very well spoken!
Strongest songs: “Could Have Been Me” / “Only Just a Call Away”: Both of these tunes are rock steady rock n’ roll royalty level sounding to me. Great melody and vocals both front and centre and backing. Solid guitar sounds and the drumming is in your gut thumping!
Pretty darn fine songs: “Kiss This”: A fun tune!
Good songs: the entire remainder of the record!
Some of the songs meld into one another and while I don’t knock them for this because each song sounds good this is where I believe a tad more production may separate their sound from song to song a bit more. However, the current method has worked for bands such as AC/DC for decades.
- Blair De Abreu