- 24 Jan 11
GARAGE-ROCKERS OFFER RAMSHACKLE SOUNDS FROM WAY BACK WHEN
Ryan Sambol, lead singer of Strange Boys, has an unusual vocal ‘style’. He simultaneously pleads like a death row inmate and croaks like a deathbed consumptive. Be Brave is Sambol and pals’ second album and first for Rough Trade. However, they make no concessions to their new employers: their sound as decidedly lo-fi and rickety, as it was on last year’s debut, Strange Boys And Girls Club.
What’s more, someone clearly forgot to tell them the Sixties was a long, long time ago. These sounds have been plucked from the shelves of rock’s archives and given a cursory dust down. From the first clattering chords of ‘I See’ you realise you’re in the company of serious retroheads. They approximate the junkshop blues of British Invasion bands, be it The Troggs, The Animals, or most frequently, the fledgling Stones. They’ve also clearly spent a hazy afternoon, or several, listening to the famed Nuggets garage-rock compilation and there are occasional hints too of other North American acts such as The Velvet Underground (‘Da Da’) and Leonard Cohen (‘All You Can Hide Inside’).
Even the lyrics seem inspired by another age, with dollops of Beat wisdom and, on ‘Laugh At Sex, Not Her’, the kind of gutter observation for which Bukowski was renowned. They’ve chosen their influences well, but contemporaries such as Black Lips and Girls still do this throwback thing with a deal more flair.
- Live Review
- 25 May 23