The Strypes burst onto the music scene in 2013, all sharp suits and sunglasses, touting their very own brand of blues rock. With the youngest member of the band aged just 15 at the time, they took music fans by surprise with just how skilled they were. Not only did they release their debut album that year, but they also went on to support the Arctic Monkeys on the European leg of their tour. They were very quickly and very suddenly thrown into huge arenas, and despite their baby faces, they held their own and won themselves a strong fan base.
Now they're back with that 'tricky' second album, 'Little Victories'. But it doesn't sound difficult at all; in fact, it bursts with confidence and maturity beyond their teenage years. Their cockiness has grown ever greater and they are all the better for it. Taking inspiration from the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Miles Kane and Jake Bugg, the songs are big and confident. 'I Need To Be Your Only' has a real driving guitar, reminiscent of Wolfmother's 'Woman', and in truth should've been the album opener. 'A Good Night's Sleep & Cab Fare Home' is fun and cheeky, a good example of the band not taking themselves seriously.
The two real stand-out tracks on the album are '(I Wanna Be Your) Everyday' and 'Cruel Brunette'. The former shows them channelling Alex Turner; it's a mature love song that adds real depth and emotion to the album. 'Cruel Brunette' is certain to become a crowd favourite, with its fast-paced and very British-sounding 60s rock feel. 'Status Update' is another highlight, with a powerful harmonica and driving guitar solos; it perfectly embodies the band's take on blues rock.
There are a couple of dips in the album, and the opening track could have been a lot stronger, but it's still a huge second album for such a young group. It's incredible what two years can do to a band, and for all the confidence they seemed to have aged 15, it pales a little in comparison to how they sound now. With a European tour already lined up for later this year, followed by 8 gigs in Japan, 2015 is looking to be very bright for The Strypes.
The album is released in the UK on 21st August.
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