This review is biased. My future husband (although he doesn’t know it yet), Josh McClorey plays guitar for this amazing 4-piece blues band, The Strypes. To be fair, I am going into this with as neutral of an opinion as I can, but I already know and love this band after listening to their first album ‘Snapshot’. It grabbed attention from the likes of Elton John, Dave Grohl, Roger Daltrey, and more–not bad for the musical resumé of four teenagers from Ireland.
Although I missed the chance to see The Strypes in concert a year or two ago when they came to Minneapolis (the show was cancelled–apparently playing on the Letterman show is a big deal and superseded my chance to catch them live), I am still completely enamoured with this band. I can’t wait until they tour America again, but for now, I will have to settle for YouTube clips and the latest album, ‘Little Victories’.
I had some very high expectations coming off of their first album, but 15 seconds into this new disc I was already grooving to some incredibly sexy bass lines, and by 30 seconds, I knew that I was not going to be let down in the slightest. Everything that I love about this band is here again– beautifully pained, bluesy lead vocals and two-person harmonies rock alongside the raging drums and the aforementioned bass that makes my fingers hurt thinking about how bassist Pete O’Hanlon can possibly keep up. Topping it all off are the guitar licks of McClorey, which are originally what caught my ear, and led to me falling in love with someone I’ve never met (in all seriousness, Josh, if you happen across this article, this is my formal proposal: Will you marry me?).
Anyway, back on topic (Josh, we’ll chat later…), as I reached about the halfway mark through this disc, it was blowing my mind in the same way that their first disc did. It is unmistakably The Strypes, but they are pulling off a musical feat that is rarely seen; this sophomore album is an incredible example of a band that has found the perfect way of maintaining their own unique sound, while simultaneously building on it. It’s the same amazing rock and roll energy, but they have added more layers and instrumentation that create an entirely new level to the music and songwriting. It doesn’t sound or feel like fluff or filler, though, you can actually feel them evolving musically while listening to this disc. I don’t know how the hell am I supposed to get to the end of this album when I am putting every song on repeat two or three times. Simply put, this disc is incredible, and you need to go listen to it right now.
After I eventually did reach the last track, it struck me how The Strypes have taken blues-rock, that has been done over and over for decades, but made it fresh, and they are doing it as teenagers. If they can keep it up, the band is in for a fantastic and groundbreaking career. I sincerely hope that they can. The world needs brilliant music like this and, quite frankly, I would love to be married to a legendary rockstar. I’m going to start ‘Little Victories’ from the beginning again, and go see if Josh has tweeted to accept my proposal.