tue 16/07/2019

CD: The Struts - Young&Dangerous | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Struts - Young&Dangerous

CD: The Struts - Young&Dangerous

Brit rockers' second is jam-packed with tunes and over-the-top retro references

Dreaming of the Queen

Certain artists’ success lies in a direct ability to pastiche the past into something new and bumptious. Oasis, The Scissor Sisters and The Vaccines all had this in spades and, at their best, created music whose pizzazz and punch eventually rendered their retro allusions irrelevant. The musical back-references are still there but the albums in question long ago outgrew what was so obvious on first listening. The second album from bigger-in-America Derby rockers The Struts falls joyfully into such territory with a couldn’t-give-a-damn insouciance.

The Struts look the part, adopting a dandy-ish Seventies rocker look, and have a suitably charismatic lead singer in Luke Spiller whose voice channels everyone from Rod Stewart to Freddie Mercury to Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner, depending on the requirements of the song. And those songs are full-pelt frolics, full of cheek and the lyrical bent of a band ripping into the first bloom of rock’n’roll excess (they’ve supported Guns’n’Roses, Foo Fighters and The Rolling Stones, among others).

“Champagne, charlie, root it up, stick it on the tab,“ runs a line from the preposterous Keith Richards-gone-glam riffery of “Primadonna Like Me”, while the even more outrageous “Tatler Magazine” proclaims, “I wanna be in Tatler Magazine/It’s been an ambition and a dream since I was about 17”. You can’t take it too seriously. For one thing, the latter is delivered with all the campy terrace chant dramatics of Queen’s “Bicycle Race”.

Mostly, though, The Struts have the songs. Much as this writer may prefer sonic futurism, there are vast ranks of sonic futurists who couldn’t write songs like these to save their lives. Almost every single one has legs, from the ebullient opening explosion of “Body Talks” (also featured at the album’s end with additional vocals from Kesha) to the disco rhythmic drive of “Who Am I?” to the Kasabian-go-funky electro-rock arrogance of “I Do It So Well”. Mainly, though, The Struts deal in fat, riff-tastic guitar-based power pop.

Young&Dangerous is about as dangerous as a dish cloth but that's OK as it's a great deal of fun and some of these songs, with the right exposure, may be ones you’ll be hearing for decades.

Below: watch the video for "Body Talks" by The Struts featuring Kesha

'Young&Dangerous' is about as dangerous as a dish cloth but that's OK as it's a great deal of fun


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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