(EMI); R&B/R&R

By ​Phil ​Bennett

The members of the Strypes - four young Irish lads who were born 50 years too late - must have taken particular notice when their science teacher unveiled the explosive results of the correct combination of elements.

And the formula they’ve adopted is a robust one - a full blooded interpretation of early 60s UK R&B which transports the listener to some dark smoky Surrey pub circa 1963, the stage low, the quarters cramped, the energy palpable.

With the surefire swagger of youth, the Strypes breathe new life into a musical style that ruled for a few short years with reckless abandon before being suffocated by the mists of time and the onslaught of technology.

There are several fine moments on this album that match the verve and intensity of some of the bands of that period - early Rolling Stones, Pretty Things, Yardbirds - and, for a group of teenagers half a century down the track, that’s really saying something.

They may be emulating the emulators, but they do so with panache, and there’s something wonderfully exciting about the sound of Chuck Berry-style guitar twanging and wailing blues harp licks powered by a set of lungs yet to begin its decline.

Stand out tracks include the driving She’s So Fine, the sparks inducing Blue Collar Jane and the right royal rave up of Muddy Waters’ Rollin’ And Tumblin’.

The production’s uncluttered, the arrangements simple, and the playing is snarling and powerful, all of which makes for an enthralling debut.

Fresh, sweaty and totally unapologetic.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.