Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Strange Boys - Live Music

Not a live album! (The “Live” in the title rhymes with give, and not five.) 3rd album from Texas' rocking boho poets.

The latest offering from 6-piece ragged rockers The Strange Boys is not the most immediate of records. On first listen it comes across as an Anglo-leaning, Libertines inspired collection of OK but not entirely unique loose rock 'n' roll and down at heel balladry. But like the best albums, several listens in and it's subtleties are slowly revealed. And it turns out there's plenty to like here, not least the playful lyrics where puns, wordplay and great one-liners abound. Musically it's gloriously unhinged and louche, sounding like the best of The Holy Modal Rounders played by an all-star band featuring Ian McLagan on keys, Bob Dylan (restricted to harmonica) and a Pete Doherty soundalike on vocals, all recorded in a smoky room strewn with cigarette butts and empty whisky bottles.

Containing a generous fourteen songs, the album kicks off with the distinctive piano and guitar into of “Me And You”, closely followed by “Walking Two By Two”, a ringer for an outtake from Nashville Skyline. “Punk's Pajamas” is The Housemartins if they'd been into substance abuse rather than faux-Christianity, whereas “Omnia Boa” is a simmering pot of bluesy rock 'n' roll. Slightly sleazy and scuffed up, but as Rod would say, they wear it well.