Strange Boys - Live Music
Siblings Ryan and Phillip Sambol and their strange southern boys return with studio effort number three, Live Music, bringing their inelegant strain of American garage rock back howling for attention. Recorded in two halves, production duties are split between Spoon drummer Jim Eno’s home studio and Mike McHugh’s renowned analogue haven The Distillery, yet it avoids sounding fractured and delivers a concise 45 minutes of charmingly ruffled heartland rock n’roll.
Ryan Sambol's wailing, coarse vocals oddly conjure up a harmonica-touting Pete Doherty, only backed by Reckoning-era R.E.M. at their most playful. Strange Boys seem to have a penchant for the musically irregular, with the bands jangly guitar driven sound frequently pasted with a layer of the avant-garde. Live Music sounds feral yet infectiously self-assured, the countless critical comparisons to the late Brian Jones are a testament to their talent, rather than a malicious stab at their unoriginality. Live Music may lack the punch of minor breakthrough Be Brave, but tracks like 'You And Me' shall do well to cement their success as a common cult favourite.