Every now and again, one comes across a band with the ability to reach far beyond their musical horizons; an ability that allows them to shock, without actually doing something that's never been done before. The Strypes are a young Irish band eager to separate themselves from the array of generic indie/rock outfits filling up the alternative charts and aim to re-create that classic rock 'n' roll sound that united teenagers in the 60s.
'Hard To Say No' is the new single from their upcoming EP '4 Track Mind' and, if it's the first thing you ever hear of The Strypes, you'll no doubt assume it was composed by a group of men with immense musical experience - but amazingly, these guys range from just 16 to 18 years old (which makes their Willie Dixon cover of 'You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover' very appropriate indeed).
'Hard To Say No' has all the raw texture and whimsy of any 60s hit, with singer Ross Farrelly growling out something about finding it "So hard to say no to a girl." against the driving basslines and fever-rousing drum beat. The most mind-blowing, round-of-applause moment though is the mid-song guitar solo courtesy of Josh McClorey. It's liberating to see a guitar utilised in such a daring manner these days - they're not just playing the instruments, they're making them come alive with classic riffs. Kudos to The Strypes for their rip-roaring attempt, even if they still have a long way to go before they reach rock God status like some of their obvious influences.
This new single is by no means perfect but it's a brave step back to where rock 'n' roll really started making waves. Their influences are obvious, but at no stage do you feel they are wannabes in any shape or form; they're a young band with a very mature sound, and thinking about what they might come out with next is truly exciting.
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